Tamil Nadu-based news media outlet Spick Media Network in pre-poll survey findings released on July 27, said a Congress-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance will pose a stiff challenge for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh, in assembly elections slated for late in 2018.
Conversely, in absence of a Congress-BSP alliance, Spick predicts that the BJP will comfortably form the state government again.
The Spick findings show that in the first scenario with Congress and BSP fighting separately (see graphic above), the BJP would sail through with a majority of 147/130 seats. However, in the second scenario where BJP is faced with a Congress-BSP alliance, its seat tally falls to 126/130, a thin-majority of 10 seats. The Congress-BSP alliance, in this survey conducted in mid-June to mid-July, are snapping at BJP’s heels, with 103 seats.
These findings will worry BJP President Amit Shah, as there are effectively just four months remaining before the assembly elections, and talks between the Congress and BSP over seat-sharing in Madhya Pradesh are already underway. However, these findings also sound a warning to the Congress, because the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains very high in Madhya Pradesh, as per other findings of the same survey (see below).
If a situation arises where Madhya Pradesh elects its assembly and Lok Sabha MPs simultaneously, a Congress-led alliance will have to work not just doubly, but triply hard to win the state back from BJP after 15 years in Opposition.
Pre-poll survey findings for Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh’s 29 seats
Similarly in its findings for next year’s Lok Sabha elections, Spick Media found that a Congress-BSP alliance will reduce BJP’s current Lok Sabha tally in the state from 26 to 16, giving the difference of 10 seats to the Congress-BSP alliance. Strangely, Spick describes this as the alliance not affecting BJP in Lok Sabha polls, however its own survey findings show otherwise. We are not sure Amit Shah would agree with Spick’s comment that a loss of 10 seats in a state like MP, makes no difference to his party!
Other findings from the pre-poll survey in Madhya Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh respondents largely feel that the Central Government led by the BJP has partly fulfilled the essential needs of the state. Only 30% of respondents feel the Central Government has not fulfilled the needs of the state
- MP respondents feel that the economic conditions of the nation have improved in the period of 2014-2018. They feel demonetisation, GST and other steps taken by the Central Government has improved the economy of the nation
- The state indicates unemployment would be their biggest problem. Lack of development is seen as their second most important issue.
- Up to 46% of respondents are satisfied with the Central Government led by BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seen as most attractive leader by MP respondents, with 41% support
- Rahul Gandhi (9.72%) is in second place as most attractive leader, though far behind PM Modi
- MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is in third place as most attractive leader (7.41%)
- Mayawati (6.88%) beats Amit Shah (5.09%) in most attractive leader ranking
The first round of Spick Media’s ‘Fate of the Nation’, ‘Fate of Madhya Pradesh’ survey was conducted by IETech Group, Bangalore between June 16 and July 20, 2018 at 239 locations in 230 assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh. Spick said the total target size sample was 2,30,000, amounting to about 1,000 respondents per assembly constituency.
Out of a team of 239 trained investigators and 270 translators, 476 (239 investigators + 237 translators) met respondents directly, tweeted Spick Media, adding that its investigators with the help of translators took up to 10 minutes to interview a respondent.
The entire survey findings can be read here.