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NARENDRA (2022) DEFEATS NARENDRA (2017); ‘BATTERED’ CONG 2ND, AAP RISING
In our presentation this week when we talk about the exit polls of different agencies which have predicted massive win by the BJP in Gujarat, we also focus on how these exit polls have shown the position of the Grand Old Party vis-à-vis the AAP and thereby what is means for the Opposition politics in the country given the fact that the Lok Sabha is scheduled for 2024. Aam Aadmi’s entry in the fray in 2022 has made the election all the more interesting as the party is on an upswing since winning Punjab early in 2022 especially post the results which were announced on march 10. While the exact picture and the performance of AAP (in the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022) will be known only on December 8, let’s present a percentage vote share, rise and dip scenario thereby as predicted by these exit polls. It will also give a picture of how the Opposition parties are placed and what it means during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. While News24 -Today’s Chanakya has predicted big gains for the Saffron might compared to other parties, the survey predicts BJP may be headed for a massive win with around 50% votes. Congress may get up to 26% votes while AAP may get up to 20% votes.
News 24 - Today’s Chanakya has predicted that BJP may win around 150 seats while Congress may be reduced to 19 seats. AAP may win 11 seats. If BJP manages to win over 150 seats, it will be its biggest-ever win in the state. However, a closer look will clearly reveal that the lion’s share of AAP’s increase in vote share in Gujarat appears to have come at the expense of the Congress itself rather than that of the BJP. While psephologists predict through several exit polls that the Saffron might’s vote share will not drop much, the Congress, as per the exit polls, is estimated to witness a severe drop in vote share, matched by a boosted rise in vote share for Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party. Compared to 2017, the Congress, as per exit poll outcomes, may see a significant reduction in vote share. Axis MyIndia and ETG predict the most drastic decrease for the Congress, pegging the fall at 15.4 and 18 percentage points in respective orders. ETG estimates a 24.2% vote share for AAP, predicting a larger vote share for Kejriwal’s party than even the Congress, which has been pegged at 23.4%. While the Axis MyIndia is giving AAP a 20% vote share in the Gujarat election, the Congress has been given only 6 percentage points ahead of AAP. CVoter and PMARQ have marked AAP’s vote share around 15% and Jan Ki Baat pegs it at a 12-19% range.
Axis MyIndia pegs the Congress’ decrease in vote share from 2017 at 15.4 percentage points, which equals 77.4% of AAP’s increase in vote share. ETG places the Congress’ decrease in vote share from 2017 at 18 percentage points, which is 74.7% of AAP’s increase in vote share. In comparison, the scale of BJP’s vote share decrease is only 10% of the scale of AAP’s vote share increase. CVoter puts the Congress’ decrease in vote share from 2017 at 8.4 percentage points, which is 56.4% of AAP’s increase in vote share. As per the same exit poll, the amount that the BJP’s vote share has decreased by is only 0.7% of the amount AAP’s vote share has increased by. Going by the exit polls and the massive outcome of the Saffron might and the fractured “mandate” of the Opposition Congress and AAP… basically parties eating into each other’s votes would only indicate that before the 224 Lok Sabha, it would be an uphill task for the Opposition parties to come together to give a fight of any kind to the BJP. Even 2023’s poll calendar is impressive, but Opposition parties are fragmented as far as the third front is concerned.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL
ROBIN ROY The writer is Senior Journalist and former Managing Editor, First India