The Bharatiya Janata Party and the ruling Samajwadi Party appear to be in a neck-and-neck contest in the Uttar Pradesh assembly stakes, with Bahujan Samaj Party projected to come third, says the latest India TV-CVoter survey telecast tonight on the news channel.
The survey projects BJP to win within a range of 134 to 150 seats, while the ruling SP is projected to win 133 to 149 seats, both short of a clear majority in the 403-seat assembly.
The Bahujan Samaj Party is projected to win 95 to 111 seats, while the Congress, which has already started a high-voltage poll campaign, is projected to win only 5 to 13 seats, says the survey. 'Others', including independents, are projected to win within a range of 4 to 12 seats.
The survey is based on a "random stratified sample" of 20,642 respondents interviewed across all 403 assembly segments between August 1 and 31, and the data have been weighted to known demographic profile, according to CVoter, which conducted the survey.
Percentage wise, BJP has been projected to get 27.79 pc, with a huge swing of 12.78 percent compared to 15.01 pc that the party garnered in the 2012 assembly polls.
Samajwadi Party comes next with 27.51 pc, a 1.64 pc drop from its 2012 voteshare of 29.15 pc. BSP comes third with 25.44 pc, a 0.47 drop from its 2012 voteshare of 25.91 pc, while the Congress voteshare appears to have dropped from 11.63 pc in 2012 to 6.19 pc in the current survey.
UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav leads the list of 'first choice for CM post' with 32.8 pc in his favour, closely followed by BSP supremo Mayawati with 28.2 per cent. "Any BJP leader" gets 26 pc support while the Congress chief ministerial candidate Sheila Dikshit comes fourth with 5.1 pc. The BJP is yet to announce its chief ministerial candidate in UP.
Asked whether they wanted a change in the current state government, 58.6 pc respondents said Yes, but 34.8 per cent said No, with 6.6 per cent undecided.
On the state government's score card, the respondents gave 7.7 out of 10 marks to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, while they gave only 3.5 out of 10 marks for law and order.
According to the survey, 60.8 per cent said they were happy with Akhilesh Yadav's performance as chief minister in the last four years, while 38 per cent said "No".
Social groupwise, a whopping 65.6 pc Yadav and 50.2 pc Muslim voters supported SP, while 53.7 pc Brahmin, 54.4 pc Thakur/Rajput, 44.3 pc Kayastha, 61.4 pc Vaishya/Baniya, 67.1 pc Other upper castes, 46.4 pc Kumri/Koeris, 50 pc Lodh, 44.7 pc Mallah/Nishad voters supported BJP. A whopping 72.4 pc Chamar/Valmiki/Jatav voters, 49.5 pc Pasi, 43 pc Khatiks, and 44.2 pc Other Dalits supported BSP.
The present UP assembly's tenure expires in March next year, and the elections are due in January-February.