How perceptions may impact Assembly opinion poll results

There is no doubt that anti-incumbency, and often outright anger with the existing ruling party, plays a big role in voter decisions that lead to final election results.

There can also be no doubt that “perceptions” about who will win the elections affects voter behaviour.

This was revealed by final results of the CVoter-ABP News opinion poll released on Monday evening. A large number of voters seemed upset and angry with their existing governments in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa. But perceptions about who will win differed in many states.

The Congress is in trouble in Punjab because anger against the government is reinforced by perceptions of winnability. The poll revealed that 65.4 per cent of the voters were angry and wanted the government out. At the same time, only 12.2 per cent of voters “perceived” that the Congress will win the elections. This is a clear double whammy for the party.

In Goa too, a majority 50.4 per cent of voters were upset and wanted the current government out. Yet, close to 40 per cent of voters perceived the BJP will win the elections. That is giving some comfort to the BJP which seems decidedly unpopular in the state after ten years of rule.

In Uttar Pradesh too, 46.8 per cent of voters, close to a majority, are upset with the BJP government and want it out.

At the same time, 48.1 per cent of the voters perceived or felt that the BJP will win the elections. Could this be a reason for the C Voter ABP News projections that the BJP will win a simple majority in Uttar Pradesh.

In Uttarakhand, 43.3 per cent of voters want to change the government while 51.8 per cent feel that the BJP will retain power. This could be an interesting area of research for social scientists.

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