With just three days left to go for voting, opinion polls remain divided between predicting an outright victory for any political party or a hung Assembly. And so far, only one pollster has predicted a clear majority for Congress in the 224-Member House. Apart from field surveys where voters are asked a set of certain questions regarding the party or a candidate of their choice, companies conduct these surveys through telephone and online media. But field surveys are the most trusted where voters are interviewed one-on-one in a particular area/ constituency and the larger picture is predicted.
In the opinion polls conducted so far, the TV5 News poll, released on May 7 has predicted that the BJP would receive a clear majority between 110 and 120 seats, the Congress could get between 65 and 75 seats and the Janata Dal (Secular), which has tied up with the BSP, could gain between 38 and 42 seats. In April, a C-Fore opinion poll found the Congress comfortably ahead of BJP and JD(S), and predicted the Congress could get a clear majority with 118 to 128 seats. The survey said the BJP was likely to get between 63 and 73 seats and the JD(S) would get from 29 to 36 seats.
The Jan Ki Baat opinion poll conducted in the first week of May gave the BJP the upper hand, however, without a clear majority —between 102 and 108 seats. It gave Congress 72-74 seats and gave JD(S) between 42 and 44 seats. The ABP News-CSDS opinion poll predicted a hung Assembly with Congress emerging as the single-largest party closely followed by the BJP and the JD(S) that will play a king-maker. The survey gave Congress 97 seats, BJP 84 seats and JD(S) 37 seats. The Times Now-VMR gave Congress 91 seats, BJP 89 seats and JD(S) 40 seats.
Among the poll issues, access to clean drinking water, good roads, drainage and education emerged as the voters’ biggest problems. Respondents said that the Karnataka flag issue was a minor one and over 61 percent said that the Lingayat issue was raked up for electoral gains. This indicates that even after 71 years, people are deprived of basic amenities and on the other hand, politicians are busy whipping up emotional and religious issues for political gains.
Irrespective of whichever political party coming to power, the issues have remained the same though they promise that it will be a “Rama Rajya” once they take over. This has caused the voters to lose faith in the democratic process and most of them (especially the youth) stay away from voting. The voting percentage (average 65 percent) in India is an indicator of this fact. For the record, Belgium has a voting percentage of 87.2 percent.