If Elections Are Held Today, BJP May Lose Majority in Goa: Survey
The land of sand and beaches is heating up! Assembly elections are just 6 months away in Goa and the first major pre-poll survey is out.
The extensive survey conducted by Prudent Media, a leading media house in Goa, in association with Goa University, shows an interesting situation developing in the politically volatile state. If the findings are to be believed, ruling BJP has reason to worry.
If elections are held today, the survey says the ruling BJP will get 17-18 seats, where the majority mark is 21. In the present Assembly, BJP has exactly 21 seats. Its ally, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), has 3 seats. According to the survey, MGP will get 2-3 seats. Keeping its 35% vote share intact, BJP will emerge as the single largest party, but will need MGP and others to form a government.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, who replaced Manohar Parrikar around 2 years ago, is confident that he will return with a majority.
BJP’s Loss is Congress’ Gain?
Goa Congress is not in great shape, yet it seems to gain, owing to perceived anti-incumbency of the Parsekar government. The survey claims that despite a lacklustre performance, the Grand Old Party will see a rise it its seat tally. It is likely to get 12-13 seats in the 40 member Assembly.
In 2012, Congress had won 9 seats and its present strength reduced to 7 after an MLA was expelled and another sided with the BJP. So, Congress seems to gain 3-4 seats even if it faces a sharp drop in its vote share from 34% in 2012 to 21% in the 2016 survey.
When asked if Aam Aadmi Party is eating into Congress’ vote share, former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat rubbished the possibility.
The general perception is against the functioning of this government. Their anti-incumbency will help us as we have a base across Goa. Aam Aadmi Party has recently started meeting people. Goans will not fall into their trap. People are watching what’s happening in Delhi.Digambar Kamat, Senior Congress Leader to The Quint
AAP is the Biggest Suspense!
Aam Aadmi Party is taking the tiny-yet-rich state seriously. The party has decent presence in certain pockets of Goa. After his visit in June, party chief Arvind Kejriwal is visiting the poll-bound state yet again this week.
Although the Delhi-based party is making tall claims, the ground situation can be different. The Prudent-Goa University poll gives 10% votes and 4-5 seats to AAP. In fact, it is a good number for a new entrant. The survey shows that AAP is dividing the Opposition vote and helping the BJP, especially in Christian-dominated areas.
Lack of CM Faces
After Parrikar left for Delhi, Parsekar took over, but he lacks the charisma which Parrikar enjoyed among diverse sections of the Goan electorate. Congress has many faces, but no leader who is acceptable to all. The condition of AAP is the worst among all with no local face.
We had deliberately kept the CM question open ended. It is amusing to note that the BJP’s core voter base is completely divided upon who should be their leader. Although 12% of them still recommend Parrikar and 10% pitch for Parsekar, the rest of the vote share is divided between Francis D’souza, Rajendra Arlekar and even Michael Lobo. Post Parrikar, BJP has no clear face that fascinates their cadre.Pramod Acharya, Editor, Prudent Media
Although local media is busy discussing emotional issues like language of instruction and permission to casinos, the survey claims that inflation and unemployment are the top issues in voters’ minds.
With a total of over 10 lakh voters in Goa, the sample size of the survey was a decent 5000. (Generally, a sample size of around 25,000 voters is surveyed for a Lok Sabha election with 85 crore voters.) But one should remember that elections are still 6 months away and things can change after candidates are announced.