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Sep 19, 2013 at 02:08pm IST

Delhi pre-poll survey: Congress to retain power as AAP sweeps up BJP votes

There seems to be some good news for the troubled Congress from the national capital Delhi. A Hindustan Times-C Fore pre-poll survey predicts a fourth consecutive term in office for the Congress with the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) broom actually sweeping the BJP votes, unintentionally helping the Congress to retain power.

According to findings of the survey, the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress is likely to get a simple majority with 32-37 seats in a 70-member Assembly. It is also likely to garner 34 per cent of the votes polled.

Kejriwal's AAP is likely to help its arch rival, the Congress, by splitting BJP votes.

The AAP is expected to win 7-12 seats with 20 per cent of votes. The BJP which has been out of power for the past 15 years is projected to win 22-27 seats with 32 per cent of votes.

The survey was conducted between August 1 and September 10 covering all the 70 Assembly seats in Delhi. HT-C Fore has interviewed a total 14,689 voters across Delhi with 48 per cent of them being women.

The Congress which had secured a little over 40 per cent votes in the 2008 elections is likely to lose 6 per cent votes. Its tally is expected to come down to 32-37 seats from 43 seats in 2008.

The BJP, which is hoping to return to power on an anti-Congress wave after 15 years, is expected to get32 per cent votes, 8 per cent less than its 2008 vote percentage.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of Mayawati which gave a good fight in the 2008 Assembly polls is likely to get just 7 per cent of the votes by winning 0-2 seats in 2013. In 2008, the BSP won 2 seats with 14 per cent of votes.

The AAP of Kejriwal is projected to get an impressive 21 per cent of votes in its very first election. It is expected to win 7-12 Assembly seats, survey findings show.

The AAP is projected to maintain the same support base in all 5 regions of Delhi.

The septuagenarian Sheila Dikshit is still the most preferred choice of the voters for the post of CM. According to the survey, 29 per cent people are backing her, followed by Arvind Kejriwal of the AAP, who has the backing of 22 per cent of the voters.

The rival of Sheila Dikshit within the Congress, AICC General Secretary Ajay Maken has the backing of just 7 per cent of voters. There are strong rumours that Maken will most likely replace Shiela Dikshit as the next CM, if Congress comes to power. But, his popularity ratings show a marginal support for him in the city state.

The BJP's Vijay Goel and Vijender Gupta have the backing of 18 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. A total of 19 per cent of the voters have not preferred any leader as their choice.

The survey suggests the AAP is pouring cold water over BJP's dream of returning to power, by splitting the saffron party votes on a large scale. Fifty-four per cent of the voters interviewed say they would have voted for the BJP if the AAP was not there in the fray.

The survey findings show that even a substantial number of Congress voters are also inclined to vote for the AAP, which has broom as its poll symbol.

Rise in food prices tops the list of main issues or problems with 35 per cent of the voters saying it is the most important issue in the coming elections. Just 8 per cent feel that the hotly debated law and order/safety of women is a more important than price rise while only 7 per cent say corruption is the most important issue.

Seat projection by HT-C Fore

Expected vote share and seats (if elections are held today)

BJP - 22-27 seats and 32 per cent votes

Congress - 32-37 seats and 34 per cent votes

BSP - 0-2 seats and 7 per cent votes

AAP - 7-12 seats and 21 per cent votes

Others - 0-2 Seats and 6 per cent votes

(The story is written by Ibnlive.com)