The ABP CVoter Opinion Poll for the West Bengal Assembly elections has predicted that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress are set to return to power, but with a reduced majority.
This comes at a day when Banerjee announced that she would be contesting from the Nandigram seat, instead of her traditional seat of Bhowanipore – a move that is being seen as a direct challenge to the BJP’s expansion in the western districts of the state.
Banerjee’s announcement and the survey both indicate that the TMC has been far from a pushover for the BJP.
What Do the Numbers Say?
The survey predicts that the TMC could win 158 seats, less than a dozen above the halfway mark in the 294-member Assembly, with the BJP likely to get 102.
The BJP’s rise is no doubt significant, as it had won only three seats in 2016. The survey predicts a rise of 99 seats for the BJP and a fall of 53 for the TMC.
The survey gives 30 seats to the Left Front-Congress, a reduction of 46 seats from 2016.
In terms of the vote share, the survey predicts that TMC could get 43 percent of the votes, a fall of just two percent compared to 2016.
The BJP could get 37.5 percent, a massive rise of over 27 percent. The main loser appears to be the Left-Congress alliance, falling to 11.8 percent, compared to 32 percent in 2016.
However, the BJP appears to have fallen a bit compared to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, in which it got 40.6 percent of the votes and was leading in 122 Assembly segments.
Mamata Factor Driving TMC
The survey also says that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has an extremely high net approval rating of close to 53 percent.
While 43.5 percent voters said that they are “very much satisfied” with her performance as CM, 31.7 percent said they are “somewhat satisfied” and 26.9 percent saying they are not at all satisfied.
Banerjee’s net approval rating is higher than that of her state government, at 44.3 percent, indicating that her personal popularity is the main reason why the TMC seems to be managing to hold its ground.
Significantly, her net approval rating is higher than even that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is at 50.1 percent.
Current Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former president Rahul Gandhi both have a negative approval rating at -10.3 percent and -7.1 percent respectively, which means that the percentage of people “not at all satisfied” with them is higher than those who are satisfied.
Home Minister Amit Shah’s net approval rating is 16.2 percent, much lower than that of CM Banerjee and PM Modi but higher than the two Congress leaders.
In terms of preference as CM, 48.8 percent picked Banerjee, way ahead of BJP’s Dilip Ghosh at 18.8 percent.
Surprisingly, the third highest preference was for cricketer Sourav Ganguly, at 13.4 percent, which is surprising as he hasn’t even joined politics.
Perhaps that explains why the BJP was so keen to get him on board.
Unemployment, COVID-19 the Most Important Issues
According to the survey, 26.9 percent people surveyed in West Bengal picked unemployment as the most important issue while 20.9 percent said the COVID-19 pandemic was the biggest election issue. 11.1 percent picked poverty/income and 15.2 percent said local issues.
It remains to be seen if the roll-out of the COVID vaccine has an impact on these numbers.
Courtesy – TheQuint