Punjab and UP Elections – Opinion Polls Throw up Different Results
Recently, a number of opinion polls were conducted in order to find out the possible results for the ensuing assembly elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh (UP). In a survey done by India Today and Axis, it has been predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would be winning by a considerably-big margin in UP, regarded by many as politically the most important state in India.
This opinion poll had been conducted from October to December 2016. In all, there are 403 seats in the UP assembly and it is expected that the BJP will be getting between 206 and 216 seats. The polls are to be held from February 11 and would be organised over seven phases.
The Situation in Uttar Pradesh
The ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), which is presently in the midst of a family crisis, is expected to receive anywhere between 92 and 97 posts as per the India Today and Axis survey. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), led by the erstwhile Chief Minister of UP – Mayawati – is supposed to come third with 79-85.
In spite of its best efforts to create public opposition to the BJP, Congress is not expected to manage more than five to nine seats. In the 2012 elections it had won 28 seats. So, the new estimation does reflect some serious downturn in the party’s fortunes in the state.
The survey makes it quite clear that the demonetisation initiative has had a major role to play in this. In October 2016, it was estimated that the BJP would win 31% of the seats but by December, this percentage had gone up to 53%.
As per this poll, caste-based voting is expected to play a major role with most of the upper-caste voters such as Brahmins and Thakurs, as well as OBCs (Other Backward Castes) expected to vote for the BJP. Most of the Muslim voters are expected to vote for the SP, which is also expected to get the lion’s share of the Yadav votes as well.
Ananda Bazar Patrika (ABP), a media conglomerate based in Kolkata, has also carried out a survey for the UP polls in association with Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and Lokniti, but its results are different from those of India Today-Axis polls.
It says that the SP could still clinch the issue with 141-151 seats with the BJP coming in a close second with 129-139 seats. This does not predict any clear winner between the parties instead forecasting a close contest. The same poll has also stated that the BSP could get 93-103 seats and certainly predicts better days for Congress than what India Today did with a prediction of 13 to 19 seats.
As per this poll, Akhilesh Yadav has been favoured as Chief Minister by 28% of the voters and Maywati is the choice for 21%. Mulayam Singh Yadav comes in at the third position with 3% of the votes in his favour.
Times Now and C-Voter have also conducted a Snap Poll in this regard during January 2017. They expect the BJP to win with almost 30.2% of the votes, followed closely by the SP (24.9%) and the BSP (24.2%). As per this poll, the Congress party is expected to poll in 5.8% of the votes. The SP-MYS, the faction on SP headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav is supposed to receive 3.4% of the votes.
According to the poll done by VDP Associates, the BJP is supposed to win the upcoming elections with 190 seats, followed by 111 for the SP, and 87 for the BSP. Congress is supposed to get no more than five seats. In the poll carried out by Prathistha Research and My Mandate, the BSP is expected to win with 169 seats, followed by the BJP with 135 seats, SP with 74 seats, and Congress with 15 seats.
The Situation in Punjab
The poll done by ABP, Lokniti, and CSDS in Punjab predicts that the alliance of the BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will continue after the upcoming assembly elections as well.
However, Congress is expected to give it a tough contest followed by the Aam Admi Party (AAP). This survey gives 50-58 seats to the ruling coalition out of a possible 117 seats. Congress is expected to win 41 to 49 seats here while the AAP can win anywhere between 12 and 18 seats.
However, as per India Today and Axis, Congress could win this election with 49-55 seats with stiff competition from the AAP, which is expected to bag 42-46 seats. In fact, this survey has stated that the SAD and the BJP could come in third with just 17-21 seats.
It is expected that anti-incumbency feelings in Punjab could spell the end of this particular reign of SAD and BJP. In fact, this alliance has been in power in Punjab for 10 years now and that is one reason why perhaps anti-incumbency is expected to play such a major role in things.
The India Today and Axis poll also says that the BSP could win four seats at most because of the significant Dalit population in the northern Indian state. It is expected that they can help this UP-based party do well over here.
The survey has also found that Captain Amarinder Singh is the favourite candidate for the post of Punjab Chief Minister (CM) for around 33% of the people. The incumbent Prakash Singh Badal has pooled in 22% of the votes. Kejriwal has surprisingly received 16% votes in this regard. The other major candidates in this regard are as follows:
Bhagwant Mann – 9% votes
Navjot Singh Sidhu – 5% votes
Sukhbir Badal – 3% votes
HS Phoolka – 1% vote
39% of the people in this poll have said that SAD should end its alliance with the BJP while 28% have no issues with the same. The elections in Punjab are supposed to take place on February 4, 2017, in a single phase alongwith Goa. The results are expected to be declared by March 11.
VDP Associates has also performed a survey on the possible results for the upcoming assembly elections of Punjab. It feels that the AAP could reign supreme with around 93 seats followed by Congress (15), and NDA (six).
In the India Trending Now poll, too, AAP is expected to do well with 85 to 89 seats, followed by Congress that is expected to bag between 16 and 20 seats. In this poll, the ruling coalition is projected to win in 9-14 seats.
In its opinion poll, TV24 India predicts that the AAP could win with 70-80 seats to its name alongwith 27-35 seats for Congress and 20-25 seats for the incumbents.
Huff Post and C Voter have also conducted a poll for Punjab that projects around 94-100 seats for the AAP followed by Congress (8 to 14 seats) and SAD-BJP (6-12 seats).