Chhattisgarh polls: CVoter predicts a cliffhanger but Narendra Modi, Raman Singh give BJP edge over Congress

Editor's Note: The following report is based on a continuous mood of voters survey conducted by CVoter once a week since August through telephonic interviews. The survey was not commissioned by Firstpost.

With just three days to go for the first phase of Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh that votes on Monday (12 November), a CVoter analysis on Friday that was done for ABP News and Republic TV predicted a neck-and-neck race between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Opposition Congress as the two parties clash with each other to secure a majority big enough to form the next government in the state. In a nutshell, the tighter the contest, the higher the chances of a hung Assembly.

The study that was done with a sample size of 13,911 respondents found that the vote share difference between Congress and the BJP has narrowed down to 0.2 percent from 1.2 percent between August 2018 to November 2018. In 2013 also, the difference between the vote share of the two parties was a mere 0.7 percent. Given these statistics, the 0.2 percent margin is the closest that the pollsters have arrived at concerning the state.

File image of Narendra Modi and Raman Singh. Image: 101Reporters

File image of Narendra Modi and Raman Singh. Image: 101Reporters

"The reason for the same is vote splitting by Ajit Jogi who continues to command a loyal band of followers who are ditching the Congress for him. Thus, even in this case, Congress is unable to capitalise on triple term anti-incumbency," the study said.

In August this year, the BJP had a vote share of 38.8 percent while the Congress had 40 percent. The figure changed in September to 38.6 percent for the BJP and 38.9 percent for the Congress followed by 40.1 percent in October for the BJP and 40 percent for the Congress.

What is notable is the scale at which the numbers tilted towards BJP's favour, although it remains to be seen if that would be sufficient for it to retain power for the fourth time in a row.

As per the study, Congress was likely to win 54 seats as against the BJP's 33 in 90-member Assembly, according to circumstances that prevailed in August this year. The remaining three seats would have gone to others. However, within a month, the Congress' tally fell by seven seats to 47 while that of the BJP increased by the same number of seats to 40 in September.

October proved to be a month of woes for the Congress as it slipped to 42 seats, while the BJP increased its expected tally to 43. The seats won by others also went up to five, which were at three in the previous month.

In the current month, Congress lost one more seat, according to the survey, even as the BJP maintained its score at 43. The seat that went out of the Congress' kitty was gained by others taking their figure to six seats. In the last Assembly election in 2013, BJP had won 49 seats while the Congress won 39, with the remaining two going to others.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi now getting into campaign mode, the challenges for the Congress are only going to rise as there is a possibility that the anti-incumbency factor that may exist against the Raman Singh government might reduce. With former chief minister and ex-Congress leader Ajit Jogi stitching a surprising tie-up with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party right under the nose of the state Congress leadership at the last moment, this alliance could not have come at a worse time for the Congress.

What may be assuring to the BJP is that its incumbent chief minister is far ahead of his rivals, with 45.3 percent of the respondents wanting him to continue, while Jogi who now heads his own party Chhattisgarh Janata Congress is a favourite of 35.1 percent people who participated in the survey. The stark vacuum that is apparent from the study is the lack of faces in the Congress camp who could command enough stature to at least challenge Singh.

The CNX survey done for Times Now and India TV has given BJP 50 seats, with 30 for the Congress. The others get 10 seats as per that survey. The CSDS study conducted for ABP gives 56 seats to the BJP while the Congress is likely to win in 25 constituencies. The others get nine seats in the survey.

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Updated Date: Nov 09, 2018 21:28 PM

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