MCD Election 2017: Exit polls portend bad omen for AAP; is the aam aadmi dream dead?

The polling for the 2017 MCD elections concluded on Sunday and the results will be announced on Wednesday. The voter turnout recorded was poor (53.6 percent), despite Sunday being a holiday. This is in line with the trend in metro cities, where low voter turnout is a regular feature. Though the turnout was marginally higher than the 2012 MCD elections, it was significantly lower (14 percent) than the state Assembly elections in 2015.

Early voter trends suggest that AAP, the ruling party in Delhi, is in for a rout:

Voter Turnout

A low voter turnout is usually good news for the incumbent government/party. It suggests that there isn't a strong movement or wave against the party. A high turnout indicates that people are unhappy with the current dispensation and hence come out in large numbers to overthrow them. This has clearly not happened in the MCD polls, despite the corruption and incompetency allegations against BJP, who had been in power for 10 years.

Disparity in voting between state and municipal elections

An interesting trend emerges on comparing the voter turnout in Vidhan Sabha elections with the civic elections. Whenever the MCD turnout is lower than the Vidhan Sabha turnout, the main opposition in state Assembly wins the MCD polls. This was seen in 2007 and 2012.

Turnout was lower for the MCD polls in both 2007 and 2012, while the Congress party was in power in Delhi, and the opposition BJP won the MCD polls. This is likely to repeat in 2017. Since the turnout was lower, with AAP in power in Delhi, it is likely to lose as per this trend.

Exit Poll Seat Projections

Exit Poll Seat Projections

Exit Polls

Exit polls predict a massive victory for BJP. Exit polls generally are more accurate than opinion polls and portray an underlying voter trend. The trend, this time, clearly favours the BJP. AAP and Congress are locked in a close battle for second place.

ABP News predicted that BJP will get 218 seats out of 272 seats. Aam Aadmi Party, which runs the state government in Delhi, was predicted to get 24 seats, while the Congress party was pegged to get 22 seats. Meanwhile, an India Today-Axis poll gave the BJP a lead between 202 and 220 seats.

In both the polls, BJP is seen getting almost four times the number of combined seats of AAP and Congress put together. If the voting trends hold true, it becomes clear that BJP has managed to buck the anti-incumbency trend.

AAP is seen losing a massive vote share (30 percent) compared to the Vidhan Sabha elections. BJP is gaining 10 percent, Congress 13 percent and Others seven percent, all at the expense of AAP.

Exit Poll Vote Share Projections vs Vidhan Sabha Vote Share

Exit Poll Vote Share Projections vs Vidhan Sabha Vote Share

To sum up, the exit polls portray a bad picture for AAP. This raises a few pertinent question: Can AAP survive this onslaught from BJP in Delhi? Will it lead to a change of strategy for the party? Is the aam aadmi dream dead? Only time will tell.

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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2017 08:40 AM

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