The Karnataka Assembly elections will be held in less than six months’ time, with CM Siddaramaiah finishing his full term in May.

JD S to become kingmaker again in Ktaka suggests TV9-C Voter poll
news Politics Sunday, January 07, 2018 - 15:36

Karnataka will elect a hung Assembly in the 2018 state polls, leaving the former PM HD Devegowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) party to don the hat of kingmaker yet again, predicts the TV9 Kannada-C-Voter opinion poll.

The Karnataka Assembly elections will be held in less than six months’ time, with CM Siddaramaiah finishing his full term in May.

The TV9 Kannada-C-Voter opinion poll estimates that the ruling Congress will remain the top party, winning 102 seats – but 11 short of the magic number. A party has to win a total of 113 seats in the 224 member Assembly to form a government on its own.  

The opinion polls show that the BJP will be the second favourite, winning 96 seats well short of their much publicised target of 150 seats. In fact, the number is less than their 2008 winning tally of 110 seats, while the JD (S) will further lose ground winning only 25 seats

The polls, like last time, are primarily poised to be a three-horse race between the ruling Congress, and opposition BJP and the JD (S). Both the BJP and the JD (S) managed to win 40 seats each last time. The Congress had emerged as the winner with 121 seats and formed the majority government on its own.

The last major election in the state was the Lok Sabha election in 2014, in which PM Narendra Modi stormed to power at the Centre. The BJP had then won 17 seats in Karnataka back then, with the Congress settling for only 9 seats and the JD (S) managing a meagre 2 seats.

The table shows the break up of seats in the six geographical regions of the state:




JD (S)

Central K’taka




Coastal K’taka




Greater Bengaluru












Old Mysore










This pre-poll survey suggests that both the Congress and the BJP have a chance of forming the government this year – as long as they have JD (S) support.

‘No hung Assembly’

“I agree that there is very little difference between the two parties (BJP and Congress) today with Congress a little ahead at this moment. We don’t know what will happen in the next three months. But personally I am not of the opinion that there will be a hung assembly,” noted political analyst Sandeep Shastri told TNM.

“My argument is we have had a hung Assembly when there is a transition. In ‘83, the transition was when we moved from single party rule to competitive party system. In 2004, we moved from a Congress vs Janata Dal competition to a Congress vs BJP competition. I don’t see any such eventuality coming up later this year,” he added.

Speaking about the JD (S)’s tally of 25 seats in the opinion poll, the analyst says the number is realistic. “For them to retain what they currently have would be a task by itself, given so many deserters in the party and some more in the near future,” he added.

‘South Karnataka the key for BJP’

“In north Karnataka, the Mumbai-Karnataka region has always been the forte of the BJP. I don’t think the separate religion tag for the Lingayats would strongly impact the BJP negatively. The party realises the real battle is going to be in the old Mysore where its strength is not as much. That’s why the party can be seen working hard in Chamrajnagar, Mandya and Mysore. They realise that in a bid to be in power they have to do well in south Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka and that’s why the focus there,” he added.

However, Professor Muzaffar Assadi is of the opinion that the JD (S) will retain 35-40 seats.

“Irrespective of the fact that they try or not they will definitely get close to 40 seats with their Vokkaliga pro-peasant identity. Their base is too strong in the Cauvery belt. The BJP cannot dent that like the JD (S) cannot expect to gain in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region where the Lingayat peasantry won’t vote for them,” he told TNM.

He said, "Going by the current trends, despite the anti-incumbency, the Congress might manage to get closer to the 113 mark with populist schemes."   

Vote share

In terms of vote share, the Congress and the BJP are neck to neck with 36.6% and 35.9% of the total votes according to the ppinion poll. The JD (S) is touted to get 18.8 % of the total votes while others are estimated to register only 8.7% of the votes in their name. 

In the 2013 polls, the BJP had only managed 19.89% of the total votes which was less than JD (S)’s 20.45% while the Congress got 36.59%



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