#BiharElections2020: Lokniti-CSDS opinion poll increases suspense

The Lokniti-CSDS has carried out an opinion poll on Bihar and it predicts a simple majority for NDA. After VDP Associates and C-Voter, this is the 3rd poll which is giving NDA an edge despite growing anger against Nitish.

My analysis of the poll and the interesting angles it throws light on:

  1. NDA is benefitting from split in opposition vote

-Tejashwi decision of letting go Kushwaha hurting MGB

-BJP decision of letting LJP contest separately working

2. However the 6% gap enjoyed by NDA is not a decisive lead

-It needs to be at 42%-45% to be comfortable –

-Others 30% getting a leg up from LJP & RLSP contesting alone, more in line with historical trend

3. 10% voters undecided + 14% swing voters {24%} is in line with national trend

-Undecided max go with winning horse so such polls help NDA

-Swing can change mind depending upon momentum created by both alliances

4. Net satisfaction levels of NK is just +8% pretty low for re-election

-Reflected in only 31% wanting another term for NK

-Higher 34% want to see new leader as CM

-NDA still wining as BJP voters hope party will take over reins

5. NDA winning despite more people not wanting another term for NK bcoz of split of opposition vote (point 1)

-39% of such voters voting for LJP & Others and not MGB

-9% of these voting for NDA mostly BJP voters hoping for change

6. Nitish lags in best CM choice 31% vs 27% Tejashwi & 30% with Lalu

-This level of leadership ratings is danger zone, CMs with 40% ratings and 15 yr tenure like NK namely Shivraj & Raman lost in 2018

-NDA combined leadership is at 35% with Sushil Modi, again low

7. Voters factoring in leadership change from NDA post polls

-More so BJP voters (45%) who don’t want to see NK as CM

-Key level to look out for is when does Lalu family > NK + SuMo

8. Modi bailing out NK

-27% voting for Modi govt performance vs 16% for Nitish govt

-Among NDA voters it is 42% vs 33%

-Key point to note for Tejashwi is that 29% voters (highest) voting on MLA’s work

-Localisation strategy better for MGB than Presidential

9. 40% dissatisfied to great extent with sitting MLAs

-As pointed out earlier NK & NDA could suffer from double anti-incumbency

-75% of JDU & 50% of BJP MLAs in their 2nd/3rd term highly susceptible

-Key is how many re-allotted tickets

10. Congress struggling

-I have maintained Congress given 15-20 seats more by RJD

-It’s weak link 37/70 contests against BJP

-Also giving majority tickets to upper caste which is NDA’s forte

-Only 47% traditional voters backing MGB

11. RJD has the most staunch / sticky vote base & is capable of transferring to partners without much leakage

-83% traditional RJD voters backing MGB candidates vs 70% for BJP-JDU

-Primarily due to nature of MY vote where it has less competition

12. Women voters saving the day for NK -41% women voting for NDA

-Not only has Bihar higher female turn out it also has women polling almost same number of votes as men in absolute terms

-28% women voting others is a drag for MGB (jungle raj?)

13. Contrary to expectations the gap between NDA and MGB is lowest just 2% among graduates and above

-Indicative of unemployment as a big issue (20% of voters)

-Voters with unemployment as biggest issue are split equally between MGB & NDA

14. Voters with unemployment as biggest issue are split equally between MGB & NDA

-This is an indication that many such people still believe that NDA is in a better position to solve this issue

-May be drawing hope from a possible change of guard at the top

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