CSDS survey: No Modi-wave, no Hindutva frenzy; issue of Ram Mandir is boring one.
Popularity of Modi government has fallen by 19 points in just five weeks.
Modi government’s rating was at peak after the Balakot strike.
The alliance equations seem to be in favour of the Mahagathbandhan.
In the first phase of the elections, Uttar Pradesh has mirrored many paradoxes. Seems Modi is losing superstar status as many voters could swing back to their familiar caste and community voting patterns. Two tours of Uttar Pradesh have revealed quite clearly that there is no wave in this election. Neither Hindutva frenzy in UP. It was not about Hindu versus Muslim.
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Now the issue of Ram Mandir is a boring one. It has become a non-issue for the voters. Hindu-Muslim riots would be counter-productive in a season where livelihood concerns are paramount. Balakot strike was thrilling reinforcement of Modi power but the excitement after the show has diminished.
The demographics of Uttar Pradesh change from seat to seat. So it’s a tricky state for pollsters to determine a trend out of. The index of opposition unity has mostly held in the first round of eight seats that voted on April 11. Saharanpur was exception where a strong Congress candidate, Imran Masood, cut into the votes of the MahagathBandhan, opening the possibility of the BJP winning.
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), India’s leading polling agency, released a survey just a few days before the first phase of polling on 11 April. The findings of the survey predicted that the BJP could win UPs 32 to 40 seats out of 80, which is around 40-50% of the total seats.
In an article published in The Asian Age on 13 April titled as ‘Is It Disadvantage BJP after First Phase of Polling?’ CSDS director Sanjay Kumar predicts that BJP could lose 6 out of 8 seats in the first phase. If this trend continues in the subsequent phases, the BJP’s tally could end up with a tally of 20-25 seats.
In its survey earlier this month, CSDS had predicted a near clean sweep for the NDA in these two states: 28-34 seats out of 40 seats in Bihar and 38-42 seats out of 48 in Maharashtra.
However, it is not just the CSDS that is scaling down BJP in its predictions but also the C-Voter.
The prominent survey agency called C-Voter in its recent survey, said that the approval rating of the Narendra Modi government has fallen by 19 points in a little over a month. According to the C-Voter-IANS election tracker, the Modi government’s approval rating peaked after the Balakot strike on 26 February.
On 7 March, the Modi government’s approval rating was at 62.06%. With a minor changeit was remained in the 50s till 22 March. But a day after the first phase of polling on 12 April, the Modi government’s approval rating had fallen to 43.25%that witnessed a fall of almost 19% in just five weeks. Considering this, Modi government’s approval rating is now at “pre-Pulwama” level.
So finally we can make few observations on the basis of findings that we get from CSDS and C-Voter
The Balakot strike was counting as an achievement of Modi government that caught up Modi’s popularity for about a month. Therefore, the field work for most pre-poll surveys was done in March; this surge was reflected in the last set of surveys before the first phase of polling. As a result of it C-Voter tracker shows that the Modi factor isn’t working as well as expected.
While in Uttar Pradesh, the alliance equations seems to be in favourof the Mahagathbandhan, other key states like Bihar and Maharashtra are witnessing the ‘seat-to-seat’ battle. This is bad news for the BJP.