Himachal Pradesh post-poll survey: BJP, Congress in dead heat

CNN-IBN
Dec 18, 2012 at 08:30am IST

New Delhi: The post-poll survey conducted in Himachal Pradesh by CSDS for CNN-IBN and The Week a few days after the state went to elections shows that the two main parties - ruling BJP and Congress - are involved in a dead heat, with no clarity on who will form the next government in the state. The survey conducted from November 7 to 14 in 32 Assembly constituencies of the state reveals that while the Congress has a slight edge over the BJP in terms of vote percentage, the same cannot be said when it comes to the seats.

The seat forecast done by Dr Rajeeva Karandikar, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute, shows that both the Congress and the BJP are likely to win identical number of seats in the 68-member Assembly. According to the survey the state will witness a hung Assembly, giving the smaller parties and Independents an important say on who will form the next government.

ALSO SEE Himachal Pradesh post-poll survey: Virbhadra Singh most preferred CM

While the Congress is likely to win 29 to 35 seats (the party had won 23 in 2007), the BJP may also end up with a similar tally of 29-35 (the party had won 41 in 2007). Other smaller parties are expected to get 2-6 seats (others had won four, which included three Independents and one by the BSP in 2007).

Himachal Pradesh post-poll survey: BJP, Cong in dead heat

Congress has a slight edge over BJP in terms of vote percentage, but the same cannot be said when it comes to the seats.

As the state heads for a hung Assembly, the vote percentage shows that Congress gaining two percentage points over its 2007 figures. The party had 39 per cent votes in 2007 which has climbed to 41 in 2012 even as the BJP has slipped from 44 per cent in 2007 to 40. Smaller parties have also gained two percentage points and are likely to poll about 19 per cent of the votes.

As the result day arrives, the Congress versus the BJP battle is Himachal Pradesh's closest race in the last three decades. In the Assembly elections since 1982, the winner has maintained at least a five percentage point lead over its rival, but 2012 is too close to call.

There seems to be a regional divide too as East Himachal wants the BJP government to go, the western part of the wants it to return back to power. East Himachal consists of the districts of Lahaul Spiti, Kullu, Mandi, Solan, Sirmaur, Shimla and Kinnaur while West Himachal consists of the districts of Chamba, Kangra, Hamirpur, Una, and Bilaspur.

But within East and West of the state also there seem to be district level variations with the Congress leading in the East Himachal (34 seats) but a close race is expected in Solan, Sirmaur, and Mandi districts. In West Himachal (34), the BJP leads overall but the Congress is expected to give it a tough fight in Kangra, Chamba, and Una districts.

Congress leader Virbhadra Singh is the most preferred choice for the chief minister's post while incumbent Prem Kumar Dhumal and Shanta Kumar are too far behind. While 41 per cent of the voters prefer Virbhadra Singh as the next chief minister, Dhumal has the support of 35 per cent while Shanta Kumar gets the backing of just five per cent.

While the satisfaction with the BJP government is high yet it offers no guarantee for re-election because in 2007 too satisfaction with the Congress government performance was also high and yet it was voted out. The main election issues were price rise, condition of roads, corruption, employment, cap on subsidised LPG cylinders, water problem followed by wages, salaries and pension.

HIMACHAL PRADESH POST POLL SURVEY 2012

Methodology
Key facts about the Survey
Time period when survey was conducted7-14 Nov 2012
Number of Assembly Constituencies where survey was held 32
Number of Polling Stations where survey was held 128
Number of respondents targeted 3840
Total respondents achieved (Sample size) 2328
Sample Profile
Social Background Share in total population/electorate Share in Post Poll survey sample
Women 48 47
Urban 10 8
SC 25 24
ST 4 5
Hindu 95 95

Note: All figures are in per cent and rounded off; figures for women represent share of female electors in total electorate as per ECI; figures for Urban are from Census 2011 Provisional Population Totals; figures for share of SC, ST, and Hindu in total population of Himachal Pradesh are from Census 2001.

CONGRESS HAS AN EDGE IN A BATTLE THAT COULD GO EITHER WAY

Estimated vote-shares - Neck and neck between Cong and BJP
Party 2007 Actual Result 2012 Post Poll Estimate Change since 2007
Cong 39 41 +2
BJP 44 40 -4
Others 17 19 +2

Note: All figures are in per cent and rounded off; others include other parties and independents.

Change in estimated vote-shares from Pre Poll survey to Post Poll survey
Party Oct 2012 Pre Poll Estimate Nov 2012 Post Poll Estimate Change since Pre poll
Cong 40 41 +1
BJP 41 40 -1
Others 19 19 0

Note: All figures are in per cent and rounded off; Pre Poll survey was conducted between 14 Oct and 21 Oct 2012; Post Poll survey was conducted between 7 Nov and 14 Nov 2012. Pre Poll survey was conducted in 30 Assembly seats; Post Poll survey was conducted in the same 30 Assembly seats (out of which in 27 seats the same respondents were interviewed) and 2 additional seats.

Cong vs BJP - Himachal's closest race of last three decades expected
PartyVote shares in Assembly elections over the years
1982 1985 1990 1993 1998 2003 2007 2012 (Est)
BJP 43 55 37 49 44 41 39 41
Cong 35 31 42 36 39 35 44 40
Diff. 8 pts. 24 pts. 5 pts. 13 pts. 5 pts. 6 pts. 5 pts. 1 pt.

Note: All figures are in per cent; Rest for others; these are vote share figures for all Assembly elections held in Himachal Pradesh since 1982; Himachal has had a history of changing governments at every election after 1985.

Gap between Pro and Anti incumbency sentiments narrower compared to Pre Poll
Should the BJP Govt. get another chance? Oct 2012 Pre Poll Nov 2012 Post Poll
Yes 40 45
No 34 42
No opinion 26 13

Note: All figures are in per cent.

There seems to be a regional divide: East Himachal wants BJP govt. to go, West wants it to return
Should the BJP Govt. get another chance? East Himachal West Himachal
Yes 39 51
No 47 38
No opinion 14 11

Note: All figures are in per cent; East Himachal consists of districts of Lahaul Spiti, Kullu, Mandi, Solan, Sirmaur, Shimla and Kinnaur. West Himachal consists of the districts of Chamba, Kangra, Hamirpur, Una, and Bilaspur.

But within East and West, there also seem to be district level variations
East Himachal (34) Cong leads overall but close races expected in Solan, Sirmaur, and Mandi districts.
West Himachal (34) BJP leads overall but close races expected in Kangra, Chamba, and Una districts.

Note: Figure in brackets indicates number of seats in the region.

Virbhadra takes the lead, more popular than Dhumal and Shanta combined
Chief Minister Preference Oct 2012 Pre Poll Nov 2012 Post Poll
Prem Kumar Dhumal 34 35
Virbhadra Singh 33 41
Shanta Kumar 2 5
Others from BJP 1 1
Others from Congress 1 2
Others 5 2
Can’t say/No opinion 24 14

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Virbhadra's popularity highest among SCs and Men; Dhumal does best among Rajputs
Chief Minister Preference All SCs Rajputs Men Women
Prem Kumar Dhumal 35 31 40 33 38
Virbhadra Singh 41 46 38 44 38

Note: All figures are in per cent; rest gave other preferences or had no opinion.

Dhumal+Shanta combination had worked for BJP in ‘07, but Shanta has declined ever since
YearsPREFERENCE FOR CHIEF MINISTER
Dhumal Virbhadra Shanta
2003 29 30 15
2007 25 40 23
2012 35 41 5

Note: All figures in Columns 2, 3 and 4 are in per cent; rest gave other preferences or had no opinion; figures for 2003 based on a Pre Poll Survey and figures for 2007 and 2012 are based on Post Poll surveys.

Best Chief Minister in the history of Himachal - Virbhadra on top here as well.
Himachal's best ever CM All
Virbhadra Singh 36
Prem Kumar Dhumal 27
Shanta Kumar 15
Thakur Ram Lal 6
Yashwant Parmar 3
Can’t say/No opinion 13

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Overall Candidates mattered as much as Party while voting; Cong voters voted more on Party basis than BJP voters.
What mattered more while voting - Party or Candidate? All Cong voters BJP voters
Party 48 61 53
Candidate 48 36 42
Can't say 4 3 5

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Satisfaction with BJP govt. high yet it offers no guarantee for re-election. That's because in 2007 satisfaction with Cong govt.'s performance was also high and yet it was voted out.
Satisfaction with State govt. BJP govt. 2012 Cong govt. 2007
Satisfied 64 67
Dissatisfied 29 19
Can’t say 7 14

Note: All figures are in per cent; figures for 2007 are based on a Post Poll survey conducted then.

Both Dhumal and Virbhadra govts rated almost equally in a direct comparison
Which govt. has been better – present BJP govt. or previous Cong govt.? All East Himachal West Himachal
Present BJP govt. better 39 32 46
Previous Cong govt. better 38 40 35
Both equally good 10 12 8
Both equally bad 7 8 5
No opinion 6 8 6

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Both parties also rated almost equally on various issues
Party best for... Cong BJP Both
Himachal’s youth 31 32 16
Promoting tourism 26 28 17
Ensuring legal sale-purchase of land 26 25 14
Himachal’s development 33 32 16

Note: All figures are in per cent; Rest said neither or could not say. Among the 18-25 years age group category, 40% respondents said Cong is best for Himachal's youth and 33% said BJP. However among 26-35 years age group category 33% said Cong is best for youth and 35% said BJP.

Both parties' rule given almost equal credit for Himachal's development
Himachal has developed more under... All Non literate Literate & Educated
Cong rule 39 42 38
BJP rule 38 33 39
Both Cong and BJP 12 9 13
Neither Cong nor BJP 4 5 3
Can't say 7 11 7

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Main election issues; Price rise on top, corruption at no. 3
Most important election issues All Women
Price rise 42 44
Roads 11 10
Corruption 10 7
Employment 8 7
Cap on subsidised LPG cylinders 5 7
Water problem 3 3
Wages, salaries, pension 2 2

Note: All figures are in per cent; Rest mentioned other issues or had no opinion; Price rise and cap on subsidies LPG cylinders can be merged into one category.

Awareness of scams not very high; and even among those who are aware, more seem to have voted for Cong than BJP
Awareness of scams and its impact on voting preferences Heard about it Voting preferences of those who had heard
Cong BJP
2G scam 51 43 37
CWG scam 45 43 36
Coal scam 52 41 40
ISPAT payoff issue 38 43 40
Virbhadra CD case 55 42 38

Note: All figures are in per cent; Rest had not heard and voted for others

And among those who are unaware of scams, more seem to have voted for BJP than Cong
Awareness of scams and its impact on voting preferences Not heard about it Voting preferences of those who had not heard
Cong BJP
2G scam 49 39 43
CWG scam 55 39 43
Coal scam 48 41 40
ISPAT payoff issue 62 40 40
Virbhadra CD case 45 43 47

Note: All figures are in per cent; Rest had heard and voted for others.

Most say Virbhadra is being falsely incriminated in corruption cases; even BJP voters not sure.
Statement - Virbhadra Singh is being falsely implicated in corruption cases All BJP voters College educated
Agree 44 32 51
Disagree 25 35 29
No opinion 31 33 20

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Barring NREGA, State schemes seem to be working more than Central in terms of benefit. Please note credit for contentious 108 Ambulance service seems to be going to State more than Centre.
Govt. schemes Those who say they or their family members have benefitted Those who think it's a Central scheme Those who think it's a State scheme Reality
Old age pension scheme 29 50 16 Mainly Central scheme
Employment Guarantee scheme 47 63 12 Central scheme
Housing scheme (awaas yojana) 19 43 15 Central and State
School Uniform scheme 42 23 48 State scheme
108 Ambulance service 41 25 49 State and Central
Lighting efficiency scheme (Bijli Bachat) 44 21 42 State scheme

Note: All figures are in per cent; for Column 2 Rest did not benefit; for Columns 3 and 4 Rest said both or don’t know. Among respondents aged 56 years and above, 41% said they had benefitted from the pension scheme.

Most say Centre has given adequate assistance to Himachal
Central Government has… All East West
Given all possible support and assistance to Himachal 36 36 36
Given support and assistance, but not enough 26 34 18
Given no support and assistance to Himachal at all 9 6 16

Note: All figures are in per cent; Rest had no opinion.

Majority have voted on the basis of State govt.'s work; but even in an Assembly election there are some who voted keeping in mind Central govt.'s work
Voted in election keeping in mind State govt.’s work or Central govt's work? %
State govt's work 51
Central govt's work 15
Both 15
Neither 3

Note: Rest gave some other reasons or had no opinion.

Too many private universities in Himachal agree Himachalis; in Solan where most of the private universities are located, the feeling is even stronger.
Statement - Too many private universities have been opened in Himachal, much more than required. All Solan district College educated
Agree 50 64 72
Disagree 13 15 12
No opinion 37 21 16

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Overall, the opinion against creating new districts is stronger, but not so in Kangra where there has been a demand.
Statement – No new districts should be created in Himachal Pradesh now All Kangra district Hamirpurdistrict
Agree 41 27 59
Disagree 27 37 17
No opinion 32 36 24

Note: All figures are in per cent.

VOTE BY SOCIAL BACKGROUND AS PER POST POLL SURVEY

Cong expected to make significant gains among Brahmins, BJP among OBCs.
Caste/community Cong BJP Others
Brahmins 38 (+12) 39 (-23) 23 (+11)
Rajputs 38 (-2) 42 (-4) 20 (+6)
Other Upper Castes 34 (-9) 53 (+5) 13 (+4)
OBC 32 (-5) 51 (+19) 17 (-14)
SC 49 (+2) 36 (+3) 15 (-5)
Rest 50 (+16) 20 (-46) 30 (+30)

Note: All figures are in per cent; Figures in brackets indicate change since 2007; Rest includes STs, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians; Figures for Rest should be read with caution due to small sample, particularly in 2007. According to rough estimates Brahmins constitute 20 per cent of Himachal’s population, Rajputs 28 per cent, Other Upper castes 8 per cent and OBCs 11 per cent; Apart from this SCs are 25 per cent according to Census 2001.

Cong likely to do best among youngest voters, BJP among 26-35 years; It is important to note that nearly half of Himachal’s electorate is below 40 years.
Age group Cong BJP Others
18-25 years 45 (+10) 34 (-15) 21 (+5)
26-35 years 41 (-1) 43 (+2) 16 (-1)
36-45 years 41 (+5) 40 (-9) 19 (+4)
46-55 years 41 (+6) 39 (-1) 20 (-5)
56+ years 39 (-5) 41 (-1) 20 (+6)

Note: All figures are in per cent; Figures in brackets indicate change since the 2007 election.

Cong expected to gain and lead among non-literate and college educated, BJP likely to lead among low to medium educated
Education Cong BJP Others
Non literate 46 (+6) 38 (-2) 16 (-4)
Up to primary 40 (-3) 43 (+5) 17 (-2)
Up to matric. 36 (-2) 42 (-4) 22 (+6)
College educated 45 (+7) 38 (-10) 17 (+3)

Note: All figures are in per cent; Figures in brackets indicate change since the 2007 election.

Men for Cong, Women for BJP; It is important to note that 77% women voted compared to 71% men.
Gender BJP Cong Others
Men 42 (+3) 38 (-6) 20 (+3)
Women 40 (+1) 43 (-1) 17 (0)

Note: All figures are in per cent; Figures in brackets indicate change since the 2007 election; Men constitute 52 per cent of Himachal's total electorate, women constitute 48 per cent of Himachal's total electorate; turnout of men in Assembly election 2012 was 71 per cent and turnout of women was 77 per cent.

Which women have likely voted for BJP the most?
Women's vote for BJP BJP Cong
Women overall 43 40
Women from lower class 46 38
Women educated up to matric. 46 35
Women between 26-35 years 47 39
Women from OBC community 56 28

Note: All figures are in per cent; Rest voted for other parties and independents.

Cong expected to be ahead among Poor and Middle classes, BJP likely to be ahead among Lower class
Economic Class Cong BJP Others
Rich 42 42 16
Middle 41 37 22
Lower 39 41 20
Poor 44 41 15

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Cong expected to do well among Govt. employees and Businessmen, BJP likely to be ahead among the unemployed.
Occupation Cong BJP Others
Professionals 40 42 18
Govt. employees 38 32 30
Businessmen 49 40 11
Farmers 41 40 19
Others 44 38 18
Unemployed 39 44 17

Note: All figures are in per cent.

Cong expected to be ahead among marginal and medium farmers, BJP among small farmers
Farmers Cong BJP Others
Farmers overall 41 40 19
Big farmers 42 42 16
Medium farmers 41 37 22
Small farmers 35 44 21
Marginal farmers 45 38 18
Tenant cultivators and agri labourers 41 36 23

Note: All figures are in per cent; Big farmers are cultivators who own 20+ acres land, Medium farmers are cultivators who own 5-19 acres land, Small farmers are cultivators who own 1-4 acres land, and Marginal farmers are cultivators who own less than 1 acre land.

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