If Assembly elections were held right now, the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala would return to power with a simple majority, an opinion survey has said.
The survey conducted by Asianet-CFore predicted that the LDF under the leadership of Pinarayi Vijayan would get 77-83 seats in the 140-member Assembly. The main Opposition Congress led-United Democratic Front (UDF) would end up with 54-60 seats followed far behind by the BJP-led NDA with 3-7 seats. The halfway mark in the Assembly is 71.
In terms of vote-share, the LDF would get 42%, UDF 39% and NDA 18%, it said.
If these predictions come true in the Assembly elections slated for May 2021, the LDF can break the state’s 40-year-record of not re-electing the incumbent government.
The survey also throws up some other interesting results. For example, 27 per cent of the respondents said they would want to see Vijayan continue as the chief minister. Senior Congress leader and former CM Oommen Chandy came second with 23 per cent of the votes, followed by Health Minister and CPM leader KK Shailaja with 12 per cent. The choice of Shailaja is interesting as her leadership during the 2018 Nipah outbreak and the current Covid-19 crisis has come in for national and international praise.
BJP state president K Surendran got 7 per cent support as CM nominee with Congress leader and LOP Ramesh Chennithala getting just 5 per cent support among respondents. Chennithala has been the vocal face of the Congress during the last four months of the pandemic, putting the government on the offensive and dubbing its popularity as a PR stunt.
The survey comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is strengthening in Kerala and the rest of the country. While the state has just under 5000 infections since January, others like Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have crossed the 1 lakh- threshold. In that context, there has been a great deal of debate about the Kerala government’s work in containing the pandemic.
But the Asianet-CFore survey claimed that respondents are quite clear about their perspective on the chief minister and the government’s work. While 16% of the respondents said Vijayan has done ‘very good’ work as CM during the crisis, 51% said he did ‘good’ work. Only 16% said his performance was ‘bad’. An overwhelming 86% said their admiration for the chief minister went up as a result of his leadership during the crisis.
The opinion survey was conducted from June 18-29 with 10409 respondents in 50 Assembly constituencies.
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