Karnataka election 2018 survey: A number of recent opinion polls have predicted Karnataka may be headed towards a hung Assembly. A survey by Times Now-VMR had predicted a neck and neck battle between the BJP and the Congress, with the saffron party winning 89 out of 224 Karnataka Assembly seats and Congress 91. Similarly, the ABP News-Lokniti CSDS opinion poll predicted BJP may win 89-95 seats; Congress: 85-91; and JD(S)+: 32-38. A third opinion poll by India Today and Karvy predicted Congress may end up with 90-91 seats, and BJP 76-86; JD(S) 34-43 seats.
Clearly, all three big surveys have predicted that JD(S) will be the likely kingmaker, though the party claims it would be the king. Interestingly, all these surveys have shown that despite ruling for five years, chief minister Siddaramaiah continues to remain slightly more favoured choice than BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa for the CM post. The latest News X CNX snap poll confirms the same.
The snap poll covered 76 constituencies and 9120 people. Out of them, around 31.33% people consider Siddaramaiah has performed better as the CM in five years. For Yeddyurappa, only 26% respondents said he performed better as the Karnataka CM.
Notably, Yeddyurappa had to resign just after three years, following corruption allegations against him. The charges were not proved in the court. Had he been convicted, Yeddyurappa’s political career would have almost ended. The fact that 26% respondents still consider Yeddyurappa performed better as the CM is in itself very interesting. As many as 31.11% respondents see Siddaramaiah as the next CM, for Yeddyurappa, it is 28.29%.
Modi, decisive factor?
Going by numbers of the latest snap polls, and earlier opinion polls, a close contest between Siddaramiah and Yeddyurappa seems inevitable. There is also not much gap between the popularity of both leaders. However, there are two factors that may work in favour of Yeddyurappa.
First, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity continues to remain high in the state. According to the snap poll, 31.87% respondents rated Modi government’s performance at Centre in the last four years as “very good”, while 20.29% said it has been “good”. Only 21.33% respondents rated Modi government’s popularity as “very poor.” With extensive campaign in the last few days before the polls, BJP may be able to cash in on Modi’s popularity.
Second important factor is corruption. Both BJP and the Congress have something to say against each other on the corruption issue. Congress is hoping it will be finally able to corner the BJP over Yeddyurappa’s alleged corruption and saffron party’s friendship with the Reddy brothers in the Bellari region. However, the snap poll has shown corruption may not be an issue in the upcoming Assembly polls. Only 7.74% respondents said corruption would be an issue in the upcoming polls.
Several other issues that may decide the voting pattern include unemployment, irrigation, development, and law and order. Voters are expected to rate the performance of Siddaramiah and local MLAs.
As many as 42.47% respondents said Siddaramaiah’s performance would be an important factor, 30.73% said the performance of local MLAs will matter. Siddaramaiah government’s biggest worry would be its record on law and order, employment and water availability.