With just under a month to go for the Karnataka polls scheduled to take place on May 12, an opinion poll conducted by India Today-Karvy Insights, claims that the results will see a hung Assembly.
The poll predicts that the Congress, which had managed to win well above the magic number of 113 in the 2013 elections, will fail to reach the majority mark this time. The Bharatiya Janata Party will fare a little worse compared to the ruling Congress, leaving the former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) to play the kingmaker.
The JD(S) has allied both with the BJP and the Congress with the past.
While the Congress is estimated to win 90-101 seats, its primary challenger BJP is slated to win 78-86 seats.
The survey suggests that the JD(S), with 34-43 seats, will be in a position to align with any of the national parties to be part of the ruling coalition.
The surveyors add that the ruling Congress will achieve an overall vote share of 37%, leaving the BJP and JD(S) with 35% and 19% respectively.
Last time around, in the 2013 Assembly polls, CM Siddaramaiah had stormed in to power by winning 121 seats. Both the BJP and JD(S) finished second, winning 40 seats each.
Here are the 5 other important findings of the survey:
- An overwhelming 45% of those surveyed believe that the Congress should be given a second chance. 30% believe their lives have become better under the rule. But 40% of the people also believe that the party is corrupt
- Among Muslims, 65% said theyâ€™d vote for Congress, while 44% Hindus said they would. More than half of Kubras (55%) and Dalits (53%) believe that the Congress deserves a second chance. The percentage is lower amongst Brahmins (36%) and Lingayats (37%)
- CM Siddaramaiah enjoys popularity among the voters with 38% surveyors stating his performance to be good or very good, with another 31% deeming it average
- Â·However, Siddaramaiah's popularity relatively slumps when it comes to Vokkaligas, Lingayats and Brahmins
- Jobs are the most important election issue in these polls, according to the survey
The India Today-Karvy Insights pre-poll survey predictions are quite similar to those of a TV9 Kannada-C-Voter opinion poll published in January. That poll, too, had predicted JD(S) to be the deciding factor in forming the government.
That pre-poll survey predicted the ruling Congress will manage 102 seats â€“11 short of the magic number. The BJP and JD(S) were predicted to win 96 and 25 seats eachâ€“ leaving the possibility of a BJP-JD(S) alliance government wide open.
However, if HD Deve Gowda is to be believed, the JD(S) wonâ€™t form an alliance with either of the Congress or the BJP in case of a hung assembly.
Recently, there has been bad blood between the Congress and the JD(S) ,with seven rebel JD(S) MLAs deserting the party to join the Congress.
The BJP had also denied speculations of any understanding with the JD(S). The pre-poll alliance with BSP has made political observers question how realistic a BJP-JD(S) alliance can be this time.