BJP likely winner in UP, 3 states; hung house in Punjab: Opinion poll on next year’s elections

Of the five states that are going to polls next year, four — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur — are likely to fall in BJP’s kitty, the first round of ABP-CVoter survey has predicted. It’s likely to be a hung House in Punjab with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) just falling short of the halfway mark, according to the survey.

With about five months left for the upcoming Assembly elections, what the survey shows is an interesting trend — AAP is likely to play a spoilsport for the Congress in most states. The prediction assumes national significance as the Congress has been pitching for a united front against the BJP for the 2024 general elections.

Punjab

According to the survey, AAP emerges as the biggest winner of the fiasco that has hit the Captain Amarinder Singh-led government’s image in Punjab. The survey predicts that the Congress could witness a decline of close to 10 percentage points, from 38.5 per cent in 2017 to a projected 28.8 per cent. In contrast, the AAP’s vote share could increase from 23.7 per cent to 35.1 per cent.

In terms of the seat count, the Aam Aadmi Party is expected to win anywhere between 51 and 57 seats while the Congress’s count will go down to about 38-46 seats. While the Shiromani Akali Dal will be limited to about 16-24 seats, the BJP will find it difficult to even open its account in the state.

When surveyors asked people about who they wish to see as the next Chief Minister, 21.6 per cent opted for Arvind Kejriwal. He is followed by Sukhbir Badal at 18.8 per cent, Captain Amarinder Singh at 17.9 per cent, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann at 16.1 per cent and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu at 15.3 per cent.

Uttarakhand

The survey predicts a return of the BJP in the upcoming Assembly polls, winning an estimated 44-48 seats. While the Congress is expected to win around 19-23 of the 70 seats up for grabs, the AAP will see about 2 seats coming their way.

Uttarakhand has largely had a two-party polity with a few smaller players and the BJP’s loss has always been the Congress’ gain and vice versa. National politics has a major role to play when it comes to Uttarakhand with 46.5 per cent of people saying that they would vote for PM Narendra Modi in the 2024 elections. What is interesting is that in second place stands Kejriwal with 14.6 per cent votes, beating Rahul Gandhi at 10.4 per cent.

Uttar Pradesh

Of the five state elections that could shape the prospects of the Centre as well as Opposition in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, there is no doubt that Uttar Pradesh is the biggest catch for the BJP.

And going by the prediction, it will be an easy win for the saffron party which is expected to bag anywhere between 259 and 267 seats. The reduced tally of the BJP has been credited to an improved performance by Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party that is predicted to win around 109-117 seats. While the BSP will get around 12 to 16 seats, Congress will be left with only 3-7.

Coming to the vote share, here, too, the BJP is seeing a slight rise of 0.4 per cent. However, the party to watch out for would be SP as it is looking to make a comeback, gaining about 6.6 percentage points from last election’s count.

A reason for the BJP’s comfortable win in UP can be attributed to the fact that 44 per cent of the people surveyed said they are happy with the work that Yogi Adityanath has done for the state.

Goa

Here, too, the BJP is in the driver’s seat, expected to win around 22-26 of the 40 seats. However, the party that looks to gain the most in Goa seems to be AAP as the survey predicts it to replace Congress as the principal Opposition party. While AAP is expected to win 4-8 seats, the Congress maybe left with about 3-7.

According to the opinion poll, the AAP could poll 22.2 per cent votes, compared to the Congress’s 15.4 per cent. Moreover, 13.8 per cent respondents replied “anyone from AAP” as their CM choice —more than three Congress candidates put together: Ravi Naik (4.5 per cent), Digambar Kamat (4.5 per cent) and Luizinho Faleiro (3.7 per cent).

Manipur

The BJP is also likely to retain the northeastern state, winning 32-36 seats, according to the ABP-CVoter survey. The Congress will continue to be the principal Opposition party as they are expected to win 18-22 seats. The Naga People’s Front will find it difficult to hold ground as the opinion poll predicts that it will win only about 2-6 seats.

Coming to the vote share, while Congress will poll 34.5 per cent of votes, 40.5 percent will go to the BJP and 7 per cent to the NPF. The remaining 18 per cent will be going to Independent candidates.

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