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C-Voter Opinion Poll Predicts BJP vs SP Showdown in Uttar Pradesh

A hung assembly seems the most likely outcome as BJP-SP head for a close contest and the BSP comes in third.

Updated
Politics
4 min read
Who will win the 2017 UP polls? (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)

A hung assembly seems to be the most likely outcome in the 2017 Assembly Polls in Uttar Pradesh, according to the latest opinion poll by C-voter published in the Huffington Post.

According to the opinion poll, while the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are neck and neck in the race, Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) follows close behind and Congress takes the fourth spot.

Hung Assembly is The Most Likely Outcome

Seats won by each party in 2012 and the projected number of seats in 2017. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/09/02/huffpo-cvoter-survey-it-s-bjp-versus-sp-in-uttar-pradesh/">Huffington Post</a>)
Seats won by each party in 2012 and the projected number of seats in 2017. (Photo Courtesy: Huffington Post)

Out of the 403 assembly seats in the state, BJP is projected to win 134-150 seats while the SP can expect to win 133-149 seats. This means that no party will achieve a clear majority on its own.

Meanwhile, Maywati’s BSP is projected to fare better than i did in 2012 with 95-111 seats. The BSP will manage to come third in the standings. The PK factor seems to have brought no change in the Congress’ luck as they are expected to win a mere 5-13 seats in the elections.

Uttar Pradesh has been a tricky state for most political pundits as the state has seen governments alternate between Mayawati’s BSP and Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP since 2002.

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Akhilesh Remains Most Desirable CM Face

In terms of vote-share too, the survey predicts that the BJP and the SP are neck on neck. While the ruling party will manage 27 percent of the vote-share, the BJP will edge past with 28 percent of total votes, according to projections.

However, 61 percent of the people said that they were happy with the performance of Akhilesh Yadav as chief minister while 51 percent expressed satisfaction over the performance of the current SP government.

(Photo courtesy: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/09/02/huffpo-cvoter-survey-it-s-bjp-versus-sp-in-uttar-pradesh/">Huffington Post</a>)
(Photo courtesy: Huffington Post)

Akhilesh also emerged as the most favoured Chief Minister candidate, with the approval of 32.8 percent of the people. However, 59 percent of the people said that they would want a change in current government, suggesting an anti-incumbency factor.

All these stats have led to a belief that the incumbent Chief Minister has managed to create an image of himself separate from that of the party.

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Lotus Blooms But Who Will be the ‘Face of Change?’

The saffron party is undoubtedly the biggest gainer as its vote-share sees a steep rise from 15 percent in 2012 to a projected 28 percent in 2017. However, it is much less than the whopping 42.30 percent the party achieved in the 2014 general elections.

This certainly indicates that although 73 percent of the people in survey approve of Narendra Modi’s work as a Prime Minister, the Modi wave is no longer a factor the party can bank on.

A comparison of vote-share for all the major parties in UP during the previous assembly elections, 2014 general elections and the projected scores in 2017 elections. (Photo courtesy: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/09/02/huffpo-cvoter-survey-it-s-bjp-versus-sp-in-uttar-pradesh/">Huffington Post</a>)
A comparison of vote-share for all the major parties in UP during the previous assembly elections, 2014 general elections and the projected scores in 2017 elections. (Photo courtesy: Huffington Post)

What may hurt BJP’s chances is the absence of a Chief Ministerial candidate. While 26 percent of the people who took the survey said they were willing to vote for the BJP irrespective of the face, 28.2 percent of respondents preferred Mayawati as their Chief Minister, while Akhilesh Yadav led the race with the approval of 32.8 percent.

Meanwhile, nominating Shiela Dikshit doesn’t seem to be doing the Congress any good, as only 6 percent of the respondents were willing to vote for her.

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Muslim Vote With SP; BJP Loses Grip on Dalit Votes

Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections have always been about managing one’s vote bank. The party with a firm grip on its core vote bank and still managing to lure voters from the other party’s vote bank has always come out on top.

(Photo courtesy: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/09/02/huffpo-cvoter-survey-it-s-bjp-versus-sp-in-uttar-pradesh/">Huffington Post</a>)
(Photo courtesy: Huffington Post)

As per the C-Voter poll, more than 50 percent of Muslim voters are still with the Samajwadi Party. Their core vote bank, the Yadavs also stand firmly behind them with at least 66 percent vouching their support.

The Samajwadi Party seems to be making gains in terms of Brahmin votes as well, as 14 percent of the community support the ruling party as compared to the BSP and Congress, with each getting 10 percent of Brahmin votes.

The BJP’s advantage is that it has been able to hold on to its upper caste votes and OBC votes, though it is losing the Dalit votes it won in the 2014 elections. Of Brahmin voters surveyed, 54% said they would vote for the BJP. Similarly, most Kumrmi/Koeri, Lodh, Jaat, Gujjar, Nishad, Saini and Teli voters said they would vote for the BJP.

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The survey was conducted between 1st and 31st August, using a random stratified sample of 20,642 respondents across all 403 constituencies. This is the second survey projecting the status for this year’s assembly election.

Earlier, the ABP News-Lokniti opinion poll projected a minor lead of the Samajwadi Party over the Bharatiya Janata Party while BSP and Congress were ranked third and fourth.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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