Campaigning for the Delhi Assembly elections ends on 6 February. It has been a bitter campaign so far between the two main contenders Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, especially with the BJP even going to the extent of calling AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal a “terrorist”.
Kejriwal, who is fighting for another term in office, responded with a campaign that asked Delhi’s voters whether he’s “Delhi’s son” or a “terrorist”.
BJP’s campaign also gained strength with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath addressing rallies and directing much of their ire on the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Shaheen Bagh.
Now the question is: did BJP do enough to turn the tables or is AAP holding on to its lead?
According to CVoter’s tracker, as of 5 February, 45.4 percent respondents said that they plan to vote for AAP in the elections, while 36.9 percent said they will vote for BJP. Therefore AAP’s lead is about 9.5 percentage points.
About 3.3 percent respondents said they will vote for the Congress. Significantly 12.4 percent respondents said that they were still undecided.
The tracker, however, shows that BJP reduced the lead in the last couple of weeks in the campaign. According to the tracker, on 16 January, AAP’s projected vote share was at 55.4 percent while BJP was way behind at 26.3 percent. However, by 3 February, the lead had reduced to just about eight percentage points.
This was partly due to the fact that AAP began its campaign earlier, getting a head-start. But it was also due to a shrill, communal campaign carried out by the BJP targetting the protesters at Shaheen Bagh and accusing Kejriwal of supporting them.
With the BJP bringing the lead down from 29 points to just eight, at that point it seemed that by the time campaigning ends, BJP may overtake AAP. But in the next two days, BJP appears to have plateaued at around 36 percent and AAP still has a sizable lead. This is important as the rise stopped despite the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit the campaign trail in this period.
The surveys by Times Now-IPSOS and Total TV give AAP an even bigger lead.
So what seems to have happened is that the BJP’s campaign succeeded in consolidating the party’s core vote of around 35 percent that it has consistently secured in the state in Assembly elections. But it has failed to move beyond it.
Of course over 12 percent voters are still undecided, according to the tracker. Which way this vote goes could end up either helping BJP close the gap or it could help AAP win an even bigger victory than what is being expected as of now.