New Delhi: The third player in the Delhi Assembly elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claims that it is ahead of the ruling Congress and the main opposition BJP in the polls. The AAP ideologue and a noted Psephologist Prof Yogendra Yadav released the findings of the internal survey conducted by the party in New Delhi on Friday.
According to the survey the AAP claims it is clearly ahead of Congress and BJP in 17 assembly seats by garnering 10 per cent more votes than both the parties. In 4 seats, it is slightly ahead and in 12 seats, the AAP is in a neck and neck fight with Congress and BJP. In 12 more seats, the APP is marginally behind the Congress and BJP and the party hopes to bridge the gap. According to the survey, the AAP can get up to 45-48 seats in a 70 member assembly if all goes well.
"The third wave of the survey followed a different design compared to the first two. While 3,310 and 3,372 respondents were interviewed in the first and the second waves respectively, the third round was much bigger in size. A total of 34,425 respondents were selected from 1,750 polling booths spread across all the 70 Assembly Constituencies."
"Within each constituency 25 Polling Booths were selected by using Circular Random Sampling. From each of the sampled polling booth, a total of 20 respondents were randomly selected by contacting every nth house (n=households in the booth/20) with a random start and using a Kish Grid (gender x age) to select respondents within each household. All interviews were conducted face-to-face using a standard-structured questionnaire and a dummy ballot was used for voting questions. The fieldwork was conducted between 5th September and 5th October," the survey report said.
It goes on to say," As in the previous two waves AAP continues to have the largest pool of potential voters. Given a choice of the three leading parties for the next government in Delhi, 36 percent want AAP to form the government, followed by 29 percent for Congress and 23 percent for BJP. Similarly Arvind Kejriwal at 36 per cent continues to be way ahead of Shiela Dikshit at 30 per cent and Vijay Goel at 23 per cent in popular preference for the next Chief Minister."
"The potential pool of supporters for all the three parties appears to have stabilized. Congress and BJP are able to convert most of their potential support into votes. Although AAP has grown by drawing more from its pool, it still has more headroom to grow further than its rivals. AAP appears to have drawn votes from across the political spectrum. It has attracted nearly one-third from among those who voted for the Congress, BJP or the BSP in the last assembly election, besides drawing more from the new voters."
It observes that AAP does better among the younger voters and men than among the senior citizens and women. "AAP draws its votes more of less evenly from across all sections of the electorate. With a few exceptions, the vote share of AAP falls within 5 percentage point band (plus or minus 5 points) of its average vote share of 32 per cent."
"In relative terms, the AAP does better among the younger voters and men than among the senior citizens and women. In terms of class and education, it does better in the middle than among the top-most and the bottom. AAP has emerged as the leading vote getter among the traditional BJP stronghold of upper caste voters and the traditional Congress bastion of dalits. Among Muslims and Sikhs, it has emerged as a strong challenger to the Congress and the BJP respectively. The AAP has registered impressive growth of 17 percentage points among the Muslims and 21 percentage points among the dalit voters in Delhi since the Cicero poll in February this year."
Delhi goes to polls on December 4. The results will be declared on December 8.
The survey was conducted between September 5 and October 5. They have interviewed 500 people in each Assembly seat.
Yogendra Yadav said "in February the AAP had 14 per cent vote share, In August AAP was at 27 per cent, in the latest survey we are clearly ahead in 17 assembly seats and we can win another 32 seats".
He added that 36 percent of the voters want AAP to form the next government, 29 percent for the Congress and 23 percent for the BJP. According to Yogendra Yadav, if AAP gains just 1 percent of more votes, it can win 36 seats and if it gains 3 per cent more votes it can get 48 seats.
The AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is favoured by 38 percent of voters for the post of chief minister, the Chief Minister Sheila Dixit has got the backing of 30 per cent voters and BJP's Vijay Goel has the support of 31 per cent of voters.
Dismissing the reports that the AAP might help the Congress by eating into the BJP votes, Yadav said "Among the Dalits, AAP is the leading vote getter eating into Congress's traditional vote share. We also have the backing of Muslims and slum dwellers, who normally vote for the Congress. So it is not true that AAP is eating into the BJP votes alone".
According to the survey drinking water is the main problem followed by cleanliness; roads, electricity, corruption and inflation are far lower in the ladder.