BJP is heading for a record sixth win in Gujarat assembly polls and is likely to improve its 2012 tally when it had contested the elections under the leadership of then chief minister Narendra Modi, according to an opinion poll conducted by Times Now-VMR.
In the 182-member assembly, the opinion poll gives BJP 118-134 seats compared to 115 seats won by the party in the 2012 polls. Congress, which had won 61 seats in the last assembly polls, is expected to finish a poor second with 49-61 seats. The poll projects a 4% improvement in BJP’s vote share, from 48% in 2012 to 52% this time. Congress’s vote share is predicted to go down by 2%, from 39% to 37%.
Decisions taken by the Modi regime are a factor in the elections with 42% of the respondents saying the quality of life has improved after demonetization and GST reforms. While 40% of the respondents have said quality of life has worsened, 18% feel no change.
Modi is seen as the “best CM of Gujarat in last five years”, polling 67% of votes against 20% polled by Anandiben Patel and a mere 13% by outgoing CM Vijay Rupani.
Significantly, the opinion poll predicts that in PM’s home region of north Gujarat, BJP is expected to improve its strike rate from 60% to 81% because of the Modi factor. The region accounts for 53 seats.
As many as 46% of the respondents feel that the decision to construct Sardar Patel’s statue has enhanced Gujarati pride while 32% see it as a poll stunt.