Survey: Formidable AAP Inroads Making Gujarat Assembly Poll A Three-Cornered Contest
NEW DELHI (IANS) – For the first time in 30 years, Gujarat is set to witness a three-cornered contest in the forthcoming Assembly elections to be held in two phases on December 1 and 5.
This was revealed by an exclusive CVoter-ABP Gujarat Opinion Poll to gauge popular perceptions and voting intent of adult citizens in the state with a sample size of 22,807 spread across all the 182 Assembly constituencies in Gujarat using random sampling techniques.
As per the poll, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has emerged as a formidable force in the state and is projected to gather a vote share of more than 20 percent in the forthcoming elections.
According to the opinion poll, AAP, which already has state governments in Delhi and Punjab, will make a grand entry in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah by securing a vote share of 20.2 percent in the forthcoming Assembly elections.
This is not projected to translate into too many seats for AAP, as it makes a debut in the state. Yet, the party is projected to win between 7 and 15 seats. Going by the opinion poll, it is almost certain that AAP is emerging as a formidable political and electoral force in Gujarat.
This makes the Gujarat Assembly elections a three-cornered contest like what was witnessed in Uttar Pradesh during the last three decades before popular support for the Bahujan Samajwadi Party collapsed in the 2022 Assembly elections.
The last time Gujarat witnessed a similar three-cornered contest was in 1990. In that election, the erstwhile Janata Dal had polled almost 30 percent of the vote share while the Congress’ vote share had slumped to 31 percent. An ascendant BJP had then polled about 27 percent of the vote share.
While AAP is making a dent in both the BJP and Congress, it is the latter that seems set to suffer the maximum damage. The vote share of AAP in the 2017 elections was zero. The big jump this time will lead to the projected vote share of the BJP falling from an actual 49.1 percent in 2017 to 45.4 percent this time.
According to the projections made by the opinion poll, the vote share of Congress is expected to crash by 12.5 percent to 29.1 percent this time, as compared to the 2017 Assembly elections. In 2017, the Congress had given a close fight to the BJP in a bipolar contest by winning 77 seats in the 182-member state Assembly.
But the change from a bipolar to a three-cornered contest would hurt Congress as it is projected to win between 31 and 39 seats this time.
The results will be declared, along with that of Himachal Pradesh, on December 8.