SP ahead of BJP in UP, says survey

SP ahead of BJP in UP, says survey

Finds Akhilesh Yadav, Maya equally popular

SP ahead of BJP in UP, says survey

 The ruling Samajwadi Party has a “slight edge” in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and is marginally ahead of the BJP and BSP, an opinion poll stated.

According to the survey conducted by ABP News-Lokniti, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), at least 30% of the voters surveyed between July 23 and August 7 said they would vote for the SP if the polls were held now.

The BJP, along with two smaller allies — Apna Dal (Anupriya Patel faction) and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party — is the choice of 27% of the voters, followed by the BSP at 26%, the survey said.

But the Congress, which has projected former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit as its chief ministerial candidate, faces an uphill task with a mere 5% voters opting for it.
The SP is likely to win between 141-151 seats in the 403-member Assembly. The BJP is likely to fetch between 124-134 seats, BSP 103-113, and Congress 8-14. Independents may win 6-12 seats.

As compared to the state polls held in 2012, the BJP is the biggest gainer in terms of votes with an 11 percentage points swing towards it. However, when compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha election, it is down by 16 points, according to the survey findings.

It shows that the BJP is unable to retain the support of about 40% of the voters who had voted for it in 2014, mostly comprising of Jatavs (Dalits) and Yadavs.

Nearly three-fourths of Jatavs are now supporting Mayawati’s party as opposed to two-thirds in 2014. Among non-Jatav Dalits, the BSP’s recovery is even more impressive with 56% voting for the party, which is almost a two-fold increase since 2014.

The survey was conducted in the aftermath of the Una flogging incident and the Daya Shankar Singh controversy, two issues that have been aggressively raised by Mayawati’s party. It, however, found that only 7% of Dalit voters were aware of the Rohith Vemula suicide case.

Like the BSP regaining support among the Dalits, the SP also seems to have recovered among its core voters – Yadavs and Muslims. The party is doing much better among both communities, with the 68% of the former and 62% of the latter indicating support for the SP at present.

In terms of chief ministerial preference, the survey found incumbent Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his predecessor Mayawati to be equally popular. Both leaders were the preference of 24% voters each.

The SP is doing much better in rural areas (78% of Uttar Pradesh is rural) than in urban parts of the state. While 32% of the rural respondents expressed their support for the ruling party, only 24% of urban voters did the same.

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