The Aam Aadmi Party is poised to win its second state, Punjab, while making little impact in Goa which is headed for a hung assembly in elections for which voting is on Saturday, a HuffPost-CVoter pre-poll survey has found.
Assembly polls in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur will also be held in phases in February and March and results to all five states will be declared on 11 March. Our survey results for those states will also be released prior to polling there.
The AAP is projected to win 63 seats in the 117-seat Punjab assembly, with the Congress in second place and the incumbent BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal combine a distant third. The BJP-Akali Dal combine is expected to lose seats across the state, while the AAP is projected to sweep the Malwa region in particular with 40 of its seats coming from the region.
Whoever wins Malwa, political experts often say, wins Punjab. And these projections seem consistent with that. While the AAP is stealing most of its votes from the Akali combine, it is also taking away votes from the Congress and others. With a 3.7℅ lead in voteshare over the Congress, the AAP seems comfortably ahead, and most of this difference comes from the Malwa region.
The poll for Punjab was conducted by CVoter using its Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing method in the fourth week of January, on a representative sample of 19,417 respondents covering all 117 seats. The margin of error was +/-3% at the state level and +/-5% at the region level.
In Punjab, the Akali Dal combine's voteshare is expected to halve and the Congress' reduce by seven percentage points as the AAP which is expected to sweep to power with a 36.8% voteshare, making it a larger margin of victory than the Akali Dal's in 2012.
Incumbent Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's approval ratings are down to 33.4% in the state and the state government is rated particularly poorly for its performance on employment, inflation and corruption. Congress chief ministerial candidate Capt. Amarinder Singh is by far the first choice as chief minister, despite a higher overall voter preference for the AAP.
In Goa, the poll was conducted by CVoter using its Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing method in the fourth week of January, on a representative sample of 1,069 respondents covering all 40 seats. The margin of error was +/-3% at the state level and +/-5% at the region level.
Despite an improvement in the Congress' performance in Goa, it does not seem enough to take it past the BJP; with the two parties neck-and-neck with 14 and 15 seats respectively, the state is headed for a hung assembly; the AAP is projected to win just two seats. The four-way split between the BJP, Congress, AAP and others seems to benefit the BJP, despite having no clear majority. The AAP and others seem to be coming in the way of the Congress' ability to exploit anti-incumbency against the ruling BJP government.
Both parties are projected to lose voteshare in the state. Despite being unable to form government on its own according to this opinion poll, the BJP's Laxmi Kant Parsekar tops the charts as people's CM choice. Unemployment is rated as the most important issue in Goa, followed by corruption and rising prices.