With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections less than a year away, both BJP and the Congress have sounded the poll bugle and are leaving no stone unturned.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to lead the saffron party from the front while Congress President Rahul Gandhi has announced his prime ministerial ambitions.
Also Read: Survey shows 47% don't want NDA in power after 2019 polls
According to the Lokniti-CSDS-ABP News ‘Mood of the Nation Survey’ (round three) released on Thursday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is likely to return to power if the polls are held today, however, with a wafer-thin margin.
The BJP would not get a majority on its own and will have to depend on its allies to retain power, the survey suggests.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the ‘Mood of the Nation’ survey:
BJP may not get majority on its own
The survey suggests that if the elections were to be held today, the BJP would not be achieve the 272-seat magic number. It would have to rely on its allies to retain power at the Centre.
NDA would get 274 seats while the UPA would win 164 seats. Other parties and regional parties would get 105 seats, the survey has suggested.
In terms of the nationwide vote share, NDA would get 37 percent votes, down from 38.5 percent in 2014. UPA would get 31 percent votes, up from 23 percent, while others would get 32 percent votes.
BJP makes loses in Uttar Pradesh
Out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state — the highest for any state in the country — the saffron party had bagged 71 seats. Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP) had won five seats while Congress and Apna Dal (NDA member) bagged two seats each.
NDA’s vote share in 2014 in UP was 43 percent while UPA’s vote share was eight percent. Other parties put together, had received 49 percent votes.
However, if the polls were to be held today, BJP’s vote share would come down to 35 percent, UPA could get 12 percent votes while other parties (including SP and Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party) would together account for 46 percent.
BJP’s performance dips in southern India
Out of 132 seats in southern India, the NDA is likely to win just 18-22 seats while the UPA could bag 67-75 seats, according to the survey. Other players and region parties could win 38-44 seats, if the polls were to be held today.
In 2014, NDA had bagged 2 seats in the region, UPA had won 21 seats while other parties had clinched 88 seats.
Also read: Advantage BJP in Lok Sabha 2019 polls, Congress might get a boost: ABP-CSDS survey
BJP makes gains in Bihar, Eastern India
The survey has revealed that the NDA would maintain its numbers in the state of Bihar. The NDA is likely to have a 60 percent vote share, far ahead of UPA’s 34 percent. Other parties would have a six percent vote share, if the polls were held today.
In 2014, NDA had a vote share of 58 percent followed by UPA’s 28 percent. Others had bagged a vote share of 21 percent in the previous general election.
In July 2017, Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, resigned from his post and broke his party's 'Grand Alliance' with Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress.
Nitish was sworn in as the new Chief Minister less than 24 hours after he resigned, but this time with the support of the BJP.
The survey has also suggested that the NDA’s popularity has remained intact in the east. If Lok Sabha polls were to be held today, NDA is likely to get 86-94 seats out of 142 seats. The UPA would get 22-26 seats while others parties would bag 26-30 seats.
In 2014, NDA had won clinched 58 seats in the region, UPA had won 21 while others bagged 63. East India here includes Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Assam.
In West Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress is expected to hold onto the state if polls were held today. TMC is likely to get 44 percent vote share, followed by BJP’s 24 percent, Left parties’ 17 percent and Congress’ 11 percent.
Congress leads in Rajasthan, MP with clear margin
If the Assembly elections in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were to be held today, the Congress party could trump the BJP in both states.
The BJP is lagging behind in Rajasthan by a 5 percent vote share. Congress is likely to bag 44 percent vote share, followed by BJP’s 39 percent, according to the survey.
In Madhya Pradesh too, where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan is fighting the anti-incumbency factor, the Congress is maintaining a comfortable margin of 15 percent vote share over the BJP.
Congress is likely to get a 49 percent vote share while the BJP could come second with 34 percent votes, if elections were to happen today.
Also read: Congress 'open to forging anti-BJP coalition' for Madhya Pradesh polls
Rahul Gandhi’s popularity rises, PM Modi’s dips
Around 24 percent of the people who were surveyed preferred Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the prime minister. PM Modi however, retained his lead being the preference of 34 percent of the respondents.
The popularity gap between the two leaders has come down to 10 percent from what was 17 percent five months ago, according to the second round of the survey.
According to the survey, almost 47 percent of the total 15,859 respondents are of the opinion that the Modi government does not deserve to be voted back to power in 2019. Less than two of every five respondents or 39 percent people thought it deserved a second chance, with the rest remained non-committal.
Also read: Survey shows 47% don't want NDA in power after 2019 polls