Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav appears poised to retain the vast majority of his party's voter support if the split with his father continues, but the move might just give the BJP the edge in UP, a Huffpost-CVoter snap poll suggests.
CVoter polled 5,623 Samajwadi Party supporters across all 403 assembly constituencies over January 3-5 from its database of over 50,000 respondents who have participated in its weekly tracker poll in Uttar Pradesh. The sample was representative of the overall SP support base and the margin of error is +/-3% at the state level and +/-5% at the regional level.
The poll found that 81.4% of SP supporters said that they would vote for the party under Akhilesh in the event of a split, 5% said they would go with Mulayam Singh Yadav and another 7.8% said that they would move to another party. Support for Akhilesh was stronger among younger people, men, the better off and the better educated and in the Avadh, Bundelkhand and Rohilkhand regions.
Among caste groups, support for Akhilesh was strongest among Muslims--particularly young Muslims--and Yadavs--particularly older Yadavs. The likelihood of moving to another party was highest among caste groups that do not form the SP's core vote--non-Yadav OBCs, upper castes and other castes.
Following the split, the BJP, which was neck-and-neck with the SP in December 2016, has pulled into the lead, the poll suggests. However, with the Congress vote share currently at 5.8%--a little more than the vote share Akhilesh appears to be losing to his father--the younger Yadav could be counting on an alliance to make up the difference.