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archive: BJP coalition heading for majority: Opinion Poll

BJP coalition heading for majority: Opinion Poll

Posted by Ashok Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
Outlook
August 8, 1999


    Title: BJP coalition heading for majority: Opinion Poll
    Author:
    Publication: Outlook
    Date: August 8, 1999
    
    * BJP AND ALLIES HEADING FOR A THIN MAJORITY; CONGRESS A POOR SECOND
    
    * KARGIL AND VAJPAYEE ARE THE STARS
    
    * BJP ON ITS OWN WILL GET 200 SEATS TO OVERTAKE CONGRESS AS SINGLE
    LARGEST PARTY IN TERMS OF VOTE SHARE
    
    These are among the findings of nation-wide opinion pop
    conducted by Outlook and the Centre for Media Studies (CMS)
    in 71 Lok Sabha constituencies spread over 16 major states.
    In all, 10,650 voters were interviewed between July 25 and
    30th in 213 Assembly segments, 426 villages and 284 urban
    localities to ensure an accurate demographic mix. The
    findings are to be published in the coming issue of the
    magazine.
    
    The Opinion poll predicts between 279 to 289 seats for the
    BJP and its allies. The Congress and its allies come a
    distant second with a tally of between 152 and 162 seats.
    The "Third Front" comprising the four Left parties,
    Samajwadi Party, Tamil Maanila Congress, BSP and AGP will
    bag between 63 and 68 seats while the others including the
    TDP, Nationalist Congress Party and four smaller parties are
    likely to get between 34 and 39 seats.
    
    According to the opinion poll, the vote of 1999 will be a
    vote for Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is his
    image across the country, which has given an advantage to
    the BJP. In fact, 51 per cent of those polled felt that he
    is the best bet to lead the country. The BJP and allies are
    set to poll 39.15 per cent of the votes compared to 37.2 per
    in 1998, a swing of 1.95 per cent in their favour.
    
    The Congress and allies will get 31.15 per cent of the vote
    share, a rise of 1.49 per cent since 1998 when they polled
    29.66 per cent of the votes. The biggest blow in terms of
    vote share will be to the Third Front. 17.53 per cent in
    1999 compared to 21.93 per cent in 1998, showing a minus
    4.4. swing against it.
    
    The CMS-Outlook poll has revealed that for the first time in
    independent India the BJP is likely to overtake the Congress
    as the single largest party in terms of votes polled at 27.5
    per cent (up2 per cent from last time) compared to the
    Congress which has fallen to 23.85 per cent (down 2 per
    cent).
    
    The BJP alliance is benefiting enormously from the exit of
    Sharad Pawar from the Congress party. According to the
    findings, for his new party it would have been a hung Lok
    Sabha again.
    
    While 34 per cent of respondents felt that the handling of
    the Kargil conflict by the Vajpayee Government had been
    "very good", 52 per cent said it would definitely benefit
    the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. At the same time, 37 per
    cent felt that there had been a failure on the part of the
    Vajpayee Government in allowing the infiltrators into
    Kargil. The much-hyped Lahore bus yatra, was also a
    "failure" according to 44 per cent of those polled. However,
    39 per cent felt it wasn't a failure.
    
    Out of the 126 seats in the North (UP, Punjab, Haryana,
    Delhi, J&K, HP and Chandigarh), the BJP will get 81 seats,
    the Congress 25 and the Third Front 20.
    
    In the East, (Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Arunachal
    Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland,
    Sikkim) out of 142 seats, the BJP will bag 72, Congress 32,
    Third Front 33 and others 5.
    
    The West (Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan,
    Goa, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman) tally of 142 will see the
    BJP getting 83 seats, Congress 48, none to the Third Front
    and 12 to others.
    
    Out of 132 seats in the South (TN, AP, Karnataka, Kerala,
    Pondicherry, Lakshwadeep and Andaman and Nicobar), the BJP's
    position is likely to remain the same with 48 seats.
    Congress will gain 10 seats with 52 seats and the Third
    Front will get 13 seats. The Others tally here will be 19.
    
    The "voting intentions" are another revealing finding of the
    opinion poll. Among illiterates, 46 per cent said that they
    would vote for the Congress and 32 per cent for the BJP.
    Among graduates, the BJP found favour with 52 per cent and
    just 28 per cent stating support for the Congress.
    



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