Mumbai : An opinion poll, results of which were made public on Saturday, has shown a clear edge to the BJP in Maharashtra assembly elections, which are to be conducted later this year.
The ABP News-Nielsen Survey – which was conducted between July 22, 2014 and August 6, 2014 with a sampling size of 21,711 – has predicted that BJP can win as many as 122 seats if they contest the polls in alliance with Shiv Sena, RPI and SSS. The poll predicts 82 seats for Shiv Sena and 3 seats each for RPI and SSS.
The BJP-led grand alliance is predicted to win 210 seats while the Congress-NCP combine is expected to be limited only to 55 seats. The poll predicts that MNS will get 10 seats and others are expected to win 13 seats.
The poll also considers the position where there is no alliance, and all the parties contest elections independently. In such case also, BJP is expected to win 112 seats, while the Shiv Sena would get 62, NCP 38, Congress 45, MNS 11 and others 19.
This indicates a clear wave in BJP’s favour but the party won’t be able to form the government on its own. BJP would need some alliance partners.
Interestingly, as many as 21% of respondents have preferred Prithviraj Chavan as the Chief Minister followed by Uddhav Thackeray at 18% and BJP’s Devendra Fadanvis at 16%. “However, this could be due to the fact that the preference for CM candidate among the BJP voters is split between several BJP candidates. BJP needs to decide on their CM candidate soon and get others to rally around him, similar to what was done for Dr. Harshvardhan in Delhi,” the opinion poll says.
The poll also says that, about 21% of people who said they voted for Congress in 2009 elections say this time they would vote for BJP. ‘Inflation’ was cited as the main reason for people to shift from Congress to BJP.
For majority (43%) of respondents who intend to vote for BJP, major reason for doing so that they like the party – BJP. About a quarter of respondents intending to vote for BJP mentioned ‘Narendra Modi’ as the major reason.
At an overall level majority (43%) of respondents said that in the event of BJP-Sena forming the government, BJP should lead the government, followed by little less than one-third of respondents who held no view on this. About a quarter of respondents said that in such a scenario Sena should lead the government.
There is a mix of opinion with 36% rating state government’s performance as ‘average’ and 28% and 30% rating it as ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ and ‘Bad’ or ‘Very Bad’ respectively.
People have rated Devendra Fadnavis higher in comparison to other candidates when it comes to election planning and strategy.