Gujarat Election poll finds tough competition between BJP and Congress

BJP wins Gujarat and Himachal PradeshBJP wins Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh

According to an opinion poll released on Monday, both parties would get 43% of the votes but BJP could win between 91 and 99 seats+ in the 182-member assembly while Congress would have to settle for between 78 and 86 seats.

The latest poll projections are a remarkable turnaround from the 30-point lead for BJP projected by a poll done by the same agencies in August. At that time, the seat projections were that BJP could cross the 150 mark+ while Congress would struggle to cross 30. During the 2012 assembly polls BJP won 115 seats while Congress won 61. However, thanks to desertions from its ranks, Congress had just 43 MLAs in the outgoing assembly, BJP 116 and others 5 with 18 seats vacant.

The Lokniti-CSDS poll done for ABP News indicated that the sentiment against both demonetisation and GST has hardened as the campaign has progressed and even the changes made to GST rates last month left more people dissatisfied than satisfied.

Farmer resentment is also playing an important role in fuelling the rise of Congress in the state, according to the poll.

Congress, according to the poll, has a lead in north and south Gujarat, while BJP is a touch ahead in Saurashtra and central parts of the state. The traditional urban-rural divide continues to play out, with BJP dominant in urban areas and Congress comfortably ahead in the villages, suggested the poll.

In terms of age groups, the youngest voters, those aged 18 to 29 years, prefer BJP, the 30-39 and 40-59 age groups have a slight preference for Congress and the elderly are split down the middle in the poll.

If the polls findings are right, now a majority of even those who voted BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections agree that achhe din haven’t arrived. It found that 54% of those who voted for BJP in the parliamentary polls now back this statement.

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