The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has taken a decisive lead of nine seats over the BJP, a latest Hindustan Times-C fore survey predicts four days before Delhi votes to have an elected government after a year of President’s Rule. The Bedi induction seems to have caused only a minor spike in the BJP’s overall declining trend; if things get worse, the Kiran tactic will have backfired on the BJP.
The survey, conducted between January 27 and February 1, projects 36-41 seats for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party, and 27-32 seats for the BJP, with the Congress seen sliding to between 2 and 7 seats. The AAP is also ahead of the BJP by three percentage points in terms of vote share. Pollsters interviewed a total 3,578 voters across Delhi, roughly half of them women.
Delhi votes on February 7, but the results will only be known three days later. BJP’s Bedi, her associate-turned rival Arvind Kejriwal of the AAP and Congress’s Ajay Maken have been chosen by their parties to lead them in the prestigious battle for the capital. In the last leg of the campaign, the BJP has decided to get aggressive with rallies by PM Narendra Modi. Having released their manifesto, AAP leaders, including Kejriwal, are also holding back-to-back public meetings.
Bedi’s campaigning seems to have backfired for the BJP as a previous round of HT-C fore survey (conducted between January 24 and 27) gave 31-36 seats to both parties. In the 70-member assembly, with 36 being the simple majority mark, BJP, AAP and Congress had won 32, 28 and 8 seats respectively in 2013 elections. This resulted in the installation of a brief, minority AAP government with Congress' support.
Former chief minister Kejriwal is the preferred choice for the post of chief minister with 46% people backing him, followed by Bedi (37%) and Maken (9%). Between the two surveys, Kejriwal’s popularity has gone up by three percentage points. It’s a two percentage-point loss for Bedi. The AAP is also seen doing better than the BJP in terms of its support across class, gender and age divides.
The latest survey shows AAP vote share is going up by 11 percentage points while it’s only 4 for the BJP and loss of 10 percentage points for Congress compared to the 2013 elections. In 2013, the BJP’s vote share was 33% followed by the AAP’s 29.4% and Congress’s 24.5%.
The AAP is ahead of the BJP by two percentage points in terms of support from male voters, the lead is of 6 percentage points as for support from female voters.
Fifty-nine per cent of those with incomes of more than Rs 3 lakh per year said they would vote for BJP, while AAP has support from only 25% voters from this group. In case of those earning less than Rs 1 lakh per year, the AAP is ahead of BJP by 43 percentage points. Even in case of those earning between Rs 1-2 lakh per year, the Kejriwal-led party is decisively ahead.
Forty-two per cent of those above 50 years of age support the AAP, while only 39% from this group favour the BJP. In the age groups of 18-25 and 26-35, the AAP is leading by 7 and 5 percentage points, respectively.
The survey points out that 59% of traders support BJP, while 33% favour the AAP.