The Left in Kerala has reasons to cheer. In two pre-poll surveys, conducted by two prominent channels- Asianet News and 24 News- it has been predicted that the Left Democratic Front-led by the CPI (M) will return to power. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also had the highest approval rating, the surveys revealed. Kerala is scheduled to go to polls in April
Asianet survey predicted that the ruling LDF will get between 72 to 78 seats, a little over the halfway mark in the Kerala Assembly. The opposition UDF would bag 59 to 65 seats, stated the survey. The BJP led National Democratic Alliance is predicted to increase its tally in the Kerala Assembly, with the Asianet survey giving it 3 to 7 seats. The Asianet survey is a random survey done in 50 out of the 140 constituencies in the state.
The pre-poll survey results of 24 News predicted a tight race, with LDF getting between 68 to 78 seats in the Assembly, while UDF will get 62 to 72 seats, it said. The NDA, meanwhile, would get one to two seats, said the survey. More than 11,000 people participated in the survey.
Asianet survey details
The survey found that LDFâ€™s seat share from Central Kerala will be reduced in the upcoming elections. The LDF had won 22 seats from the Central Kerala region- Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki, in the 2016 elections. The survey predicted that the ruling alliance would get 16 to 18 seats, while the UDF would get 23 to 25 seats.
In Northern Kerala , the survey predicted that the LDF will win 32 to 34 seats with a vote share of 43 per cent. The UDF will get 24 to 26 seats, while the NDA will get two to four seats.
The biggest achievement of the LDF, according to the survey, is distribution of free grocery kits during the pandemic, with 34 per cent voting for it.
As per the survey, 34 per cent felt the biggest failure of the LDF government was its handling of the Sabarimala issue, while 29 per cent said it was the governmentâ€™s failure that basic infrastructure especially roads have not improved.
LDF has the edge: 24 News
LDF is predicted to get a vote share of 42.38 per cent, while UDF would get 40.72 per cent and NDA 16.9 per cent, as per the survey. It also predicted that compared to 2016, LDFâ€™s vote share would decrease by 1.1 per cent, while UDF and the NDA would gain by 1.91 and 1.94 per cent.
Notably, 40 per cent of respondents in the survey stated that the entry of technocrat E Sreedharan into BJP will help NDA, while 40 per cent said Jose K Mani's move to the LDF camp will help the ruling front. Meanwhile, 57 per cent said the active participation of Oommen Chandy will aid UDF in the election.
Pinarayi most suited as CM
According to the Asianet News C Fore election survey, CPI(M)â€™s Pinarayi received the backing of 39 per cent of the people for CM, while 42 per cent of people backed the LDF to return to power in the upcoming bye-elections.
Former Chief Minister Ooomen Chandy of the Congress received an approval rating of 18 per cent, while Thiruvananthapuram MP and former Union Minister of State for External Effairs Shashi Tharoor got nine per cent. Health Minister KK Shailaja, who had come in for wide praise last year for containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, and for the handling of the Nipah virus outbreak earlier, got the backing of 7 per cent of respondents. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, one of the top contenders for the post of CM, received only 6 per cent, while six percent of respondents favoured BJP State President K Surendran.
The News 24 survey also found Pinarayi had the highest approval rating at 30 per cent, while Oommen Chandy had the next highest. Significantly, the survey found that â€˜Metromanâ€™ E Sreedharan, who recently joined the BJP, get the support of 10 per cent of respondents, higher than Surendranâ€™s nine per cent.