Most SC/STs would vote for an Opposition unity in the elections
PRASHNAM INSIGHT #39
The ‘Index of Opposition Unity’ has often been touted by political experts as the weapon to defeat the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). Specialists and Delhi media apart, what do voters think of such tactics? Prashnam decided to find out this week.
We asked nearly 11,000 voters across nine states — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, and Delhi — covering nearly 1,500 assembly constituencies, one simple question in the local language:
“For the next Lok Sabha election, if Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Akhilesh Yadav and Congress get together, will it change how you vote?”
They were given the following response options: ‘Yes, I will change my vote to vote for this new alliance’; ‘No, it will not change the way I vote’; and ‘I haven’t made up my mind or do not wish to answer’.
The survey was designed to elicit responses to a change in voting preferences caused by this alliance formation, not to know if people approve of this alliance. However, the difference is subtle and may not have been perceived in this manner by respondents. This is a classic occupational hazard of polling where respondents can interpret the question in their own manner and provide responses that may be different from the intent of the survey.
Clearly, there are more voters who think an Opposition unity will not change their voting behaviour. It could also well mean that pre-decided BJP voters do not approve of Opposition unity while non-BJP voters do. The reason for any political formation to come together is to consolidate support and win elections. From the results of the survey, this consolidation is yet to happen.
The other interesting finding is the sharp division in opinion among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe voters and Other Backward Class voters.
SC/ST voters endorse the idea of Opposition unity while OBC and General voters do not.
Read the full report in The Print here.
The raw response data is available here.