The close Leadership contest in Tamil Nadu

Amitabh “Surykiran” Tiwari  

We have seen in recent history that “Leadership Ratings” have been the key determinant of election results across states. In TN as well the trend is visible, the party whose leader enjoys popular support goes on to win the state / Lok sabha polls as shown in table below.


Our survey (The Campaign 360) shows that Jayalalitha enjoys the highest support at 36% with Karunanidhi and Stalin tied at second spot at 18%. The maverick Vijaykanth is at third slot with 11%. On a combined basis, father and son dup enjoy similar ratings as JJ. This is going to be one of the key factors which will determine the outcome of the polls as there is no clue available from these ratings. This is what makes this elections very interesting and difficult for analysts to predict.

Only 48% of voters who prefer Jayalalitha as CM said they were satisfied with her government’s performance. A big 33% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with her govt. performance. 79% of the voters who prefer Stalin are very active on social media, the corresponding number for Vijaykanth was low at 31%. 23% of Vijaykanth supporters are not likely to vote for PWF alliance.  Jayalalitha maintains her lead among women voters with 45% preferring her as CM, father-son duo combined lag behind at 34%.



41% of the youth sampled (age group 18-29) prefer Stalin and Karunanidhi (combined) as CM versus Jayalalitha (29%) and Vijaykanth (19%). Amongst low (<Rs. 10,000 pm)), middle (Rs. 10,000-50,000 pm) and high income groups (> Rs. 50,000 pm) both Jayalalitha and Stalin & Karunanidhi combined enjoy similar support.

9% of the total sample comprises of undecided voters. They could determine the outcome of these elections. Karunanidhi and Stalin combined enjoy a lead of 5% over Jayalalitha amongst undecided voters for preferred CM candidate.

39% of voters of BJP prefer Jayalalitha as CM candidate which exhibits that party lacks a credible face to take on Dravidian forces in the state. This is also due to the fact that AIADMK is considered to be closer to BJP ideology in T. Nadu. If majority of these voters switch sides on the day of polls not wanting to waste their votes on a losing horse, it could tilt the scales in favour of AIADMK.



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