Zee News survey gives Congress an edge in polls

NEW DELHI: According to a poll survey carried out by Zee News, the Congress appears to gain a lead in the current round of elections which is widely seen as a semi final to the next years Lok Sabha elections.

The Zee News/CVoter opinion poll reveals that while the party is heading for crushing win in Delhi and simple majority in close contests of Rajasthan and Chattisgarh, it may finally lose Madhya Pradesh to BJP. The development seems to be the main issue of the current round of election and while the Congress is gaining out of it in three states, ironically its about to lose MP for the same reason only.

In Delhi, the Congress seems to be on the road of another big victory, riding high on the popularity charts of CM Shiela Dixit. The party is likely to bag 40 to 48 seats in the 70 member assembly polling 49 percent votes. The BJP may win only 21 to 29 seats polling 36% of popular votes, according to an official statement from Zee News.

The exclusive poll shows that even the latest tandoor murder issue (where a Congress activist was sentenced to death by a Delhi court for murdering his wife) raised by the BJP could not find supporters as 72 per cent odd Delhites said they would vote on issue of Development rather than the Tandoor issue. Only 4 per cent voters said that the much talked about case would be a deciding factor for them. The poll also reveals that for the first time the Congress is taking a lead in the Middle class vote bank, which till now used to be stronghold of the BJP.

In Chattisgarh, though the Congress is about to get a simple majority, its not as smooth as Delhi. The party is likely to win 40 to 48 seats in the 90 member assembly polling 38 percent votes. The BJP may win 34 to 42 seats polling 37 per cent of popular votes, which is just one percent less than the Congress.

The crucial factor in Chattisgarh is the entry of NCP with VC Shukla as its CM candidate. The poll reveals that Shukla may prove to be the deciding factor in the state as his party is poised to poll about 13 percent votes and may end winning 4 to 9 seats. The survey also reveals that the NCP is eating into BJP votes in the urban areas and into Congress votes in the rural and tribal areas. If the NCP polls just a little bit more it may result in a hung assembly in the state and VC Shukla may become the kingmaker or the king himself. But if the NCP performs less than the expectation then it will mean a smooth sailing for CM Ajit Jogi.

In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP seems to be set to make a comeback after ten years. According to the Zee News/CVoter opinion poll, the party is leading in 122 to 130 seats with 42 percent votes while the Congress is currently trailing with 39 per cent votes and 77 to 85 seats. For the first time in ten years the opposition CM candidate has taken a lead in popularity rating over Digvijay Singh.

Though Singh still enjoys a support of 28 per cent voters but Uma Bharti seems to be clearly ahead with 35% popular ratings. It seems that the OBC votes are giving new strength to the BJP while the old block of committed voters in Malwa and Mahakaushal regions is coming back to party. This leaves Congress to back once again in the "Diggi Magic." But can this work again?

The survey reveals that if the "understanding" of BSP and Congress materialises even a three per cent reverse swing for the Congress, the state was witness a hung assembly with the BSP playing a role of kingmaker. The poll also reveals that the BSP has consolidated in the state and is about to poll 11 per cent votes which is almost double of what it polled five years back. Now an "active transfer" of these votes on crucial seats in Vindhya, Bundelkhand and Chambal regions may spoil the party of BJP. But if this doesn't happen properly and BJP gains few more anti-incumbency votes, then this may sound all over for the Digvijay rule as slightest further loss of votes may end up with two third majority for the BJP.

Finally in Rajasthan, the drought relief management of CM Ashok Gehlot may effectively counter the gains made by BJP by playing the Jat reservation card. The Zee News/CVoter opinion poll shows that the Congress may win 107 to 115 seats out of 200 by polling 45 percent of popular votes. The vote share of Congress remains static but the seats may go down because of a hefty nine percent swing in favor of the BJP which may end up a close second by polling 42 per cent votes. But this three percent gap between the two parties is enough for the Congress to make the government. The poll also reveals that the popularity rating of CM Gehlot is 51 per cent which is much higher than the BJP CM candidate Vasundhara Raje who gets support from 35 per cent voters.

The JAT card of BJP seems to have worked as majority of the community is polling now for the BJP, but it is the SC and ST votes where the congress is getting its solid support from. The survey also reveals that the majority of voters are satisfied with the way the congress government has managed the severe draught problem. But the Congress will have to work hard to maintain this lead. If the party loses even few votes to BJP then the contest becomes wide open and in such scenario a hung assembly can not be ruled out. But as on today, it's advantage Gehlot.

The Zee News/ CVoter survey is based in quantitative and qualitative information gathers in all four states. While qualitative information was gathered from all the 590 seats to know the "odd" seats, the opinion poll covered more than 12 thousand interviews across 245 seats in last two month. 

This information was supplemented with more than 4000 interviews across 40 seats in the last seven days. The sapling was done using stratified sampling methodology and the forecasting model was based on complex vote matrix 


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