UP alliance could lift UPA prospects: IANS-CVoter 2019 Survey

New Delhi: The State of the Nation March 2019 Wave-II opinion poll conducted by CVoter for IANS shows that the UPA tally in the Lok Sabha elections based on a pre-poll alliance is expected to be just over half the seats the NDA is likely to get.

However, being a part of the ‘mahagathbandhan’ in Uttar Pradesh could narrow the UPA’s gap with the NDA but would still not get them to power.

Seat share projections for the UPA, according to CVoter, indicates that it is likely to get 143 seats on the basis of allliances it has sewed up so far with the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha alliance in Jharkhand, the Janata Dal (S) in Karnataka, the UDF constituents in Kerala, the Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra and the DMK in Tamil Nadu. The CVoter opinion poll says the NDA pre-poll alliance tally would be 261 seats.

The break-up, the survey says, is likely to be 91 seats for the Congress and 52 seats for the allies. Earlier this month, a CVoter opinion poll had estimated that the Congress would get 86 seats and the pre-poll allies another 55.

In the fortnight gone by between the first CVoter opinion poll of March 10 and the second of March 24, Congress president Rahul Gandhi raised the Rafale issue but also focused on unemployment and economic growth while the Bharatiya Janata Party kept its primary focus on nationalism. However, the Congress party’s proposal for a minimum income guarantee scheme in case it came to power was made public after the latest CVoter opinion poll results were released.

The CVoter opinion poll released on March 24 has a sample size of 10,280 this week and the number of respondents cumulatively since January 1 is 70,000.

For the UPA, as was shown in the case of the NDA, the numbers could change sharply if some post poll alliances work out. The CVoter opinion poll lists possible UPA post-poll allies as AIUDF in Assam (one seat), the LDF alliance in Kerala (three seats), the ‘mahagathbandhan’ in Uttar Pradesh (48 seats) and the Trinamool in West Bengal (34 seats). These would give a boost of 86 seats to the UPA and raise its tally to 229 seats overall — though good but still not enough in numbers to come to power.

It could be that the pre-poll alliances fail to provide the spark to the UPA’s prospects. The opinion poll indicates that in Bihar the UPA would get four seats, in Gujarat it was likely to win only two seats, in Madhya Pradesh the UPA is expected to win six seats and in Maharashtra, the UPA could win 14 seats.

In a few states, though, the UPA is likely to hold its ground — the opinion poll says that in Punjab the UPA could win 12 seats, in Tamil Nadu it could win 31 seats and in Jharkhand it is expected to win 10 seats.

The real spark for the UPA could come from a ‘mahagathbandhan’ alliance in Uttar Pradesh. The opinion poll says the formation would get only four out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Should the Congress-led alliance forge a last-minute post poll tie-up and become a part of the ‘mahagathbandhan’, this equation would change dramatically, giving the anti-NDA alliance 52 seats in all or a boost of 48 seats.

The CVoter opinion poll gives an indication of why the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi is keen to sew up an alliance with the Congress. The seat share projections show that if these two parties do not come together, the NDA would be in line to win all seven Lok Sabha seats from Delhi. However, if they come together, the UPA would get four seats and the NDA three.

In terms of vote share projections given in the CVoter opinion poll, a pre-poll alliance would fetch it 30.4 per cent of the vote. It shows that only in a handful of states is the UPA ahead of the NDA in terms of vote share. These are Kerala, where the opinion poll shows it could get 46.9 per cent of the vote as opposed to the NDA’s 19.6; Punjab, where the UPA could get 36.3 per cent of the vote as opposed to the NDA’s 33.4 per cent; Tamil Nadu, where the UPA could get 44.4 per cent of the vote compared to the NDA’s 35.8 per cent; and Telangana, where the UPA is expected to get 28.1 per cent of the vote against the NDA’s 14.2 per cent — in case the Telengana Rashtra Samiti does not join the NDA alliance in a post poll scenario.