The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is sure to be voted out in Uttar Pradesh next year while the Samajwadi Party (SP) will sit on top of a hung assembly, says an opinion poll released on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Mayawati "is certain to lose power", with the BSP projected to win just 112 seats, 94 less than her 2007 tally, said the survey of voter sentiment conducted by the news website LensOnNews.com.
In what is shaping up to be a tough four-cornered contest, Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP is pulling way ahead of the BSP. But, with some 168 seats, it will fall well short of a majority in the 403-seat assembly.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress are likely to emerge a distant third and fourth with 53 and 45 seats respectively, it said.
Although the SP emerges well ahead of BSP in the seats tally, it has only a tenuous lead in terms of vote share.
It is projected to get a 26.9% vote share as against 26.1% for BSP.
The SP's better performance is due to the favourable distribution of its dominant support base (Yadavs and Muslims), it said.
In contrast, Dalits, who form the core support base of the BSP, are uniformly spread across the state. Thus, the BSP cannot win a substantial number of seats unless it crosses a minimum threshold level.
The BJP is projected to get 15.3% votes and the Congress 14.5%.
According to the survey, the Mayawati government is seen to rate poorly on all governance issues of concern to the common person.
Sixty-one% of respondents said the government's record had been poor in tackling crime; 55% find the delivery of electricity, roads and water services unsatisfactory.
More than two-thirds find the government fares poorly in relation to providing a corruption-free administration and in giving fair treatment to all castes.
The result of the perceived all round failure in governance has produced a strong wave of anti-incumbency sentiment all across the state.
Thus, 69% of the respondents want a change whereas only 28% would like the government to continue, it said.
Mayawati won a comfortable majority in the 2007 elections by cobbling together a rainbow coalition that includes upper caste Brahmin and also a sizeable chunk of Muslim voters.
The LensOnNews poll shows that the upper caste Hindu vote has gone back mostly to the BJP and the Congress, while the Muslim vote shifted to both the SP and Congress -- in varying numbers.
Mulayam Singh Yadav emerged as the most favoured for the post of chief minister (33%), followed by Mayawati (29%) and BJP's Rajnath Singh (18%).
In contrast, no single popular name has emerged from the Congress.
The poll was conducted from May 26 to June 4 among a representative sample of 2,822 voters spread across 12 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. The findings are subject to a margin of error of three%.