The party's pre-poll survey shows that AAP is likely to secure at least 32 out of 70 seats in Delhi assembly polls

A fresh round of survey commissioned by the Aam Aadmi Party shows the party to be on a winning curve, with its popularity on the rise among the youth and having stormed into what is considered the Congress bastion -- JJ clusters and Dalits.

The pre-poll survey conducted by Cicero Associates in 70 Assembly constituencies and covering a sample size of 34,425 respondents across 1,750 polling booths shows the party staking its claim to at least 32 per cent of the total vote share and likely to secure at least 32 seats in the Assembly polls.

“This poll is different from the earlier ones (conducted in February and August) because it is not based on random selection of respondents, but on a larger sample size of 500 per constituency,” said Yogendra Yadav of the AAP and a well-known psephologist.

According to the new survey, the Congress’ and the BJP’s vote estimates stand at 28 per cent and 24 per cent respectively, down from 35 per cent estimated in the February survey, while the AAP’s vote share has risen from 14 per cent to 32 per cent in just six months.

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has emerged as a preferred choice for the post of Chief Minister with 38 per cent votes. The incumbent CM, Sheila Dikshit, comes a close second with 30 per cent followed by the BJP’s Vijay Goel who garnered only 21 per cent votes.

The party’s assessment of its performance based on the survey shows it is leading in 33 seats, of which in 17 it will lead by a margin of 10 per cent; it is trailing in 21 others, but says it is confident of making up. Refusing to name the constituencies where is it leading as well as trailing, Mr. Yadav said: “Even the 21 seats are recoverable. The survey shows AAP was leading in 32 seats, the Congress in 28 and the BJP in 10 seats. The AAP and BJP were tied in one seat.”

He went on to add: “The surveys carried out by AC Nielsen and C Voter have also indicated a favourable trend towards the AAP. Delhi is no longer a bipolar election between the Congress and the BJP; it is now a triangular contest.”

Mr. Yadav said there are no indications as of now of a reversal in the AAP’s popularity, even as he admitted that the party is not very popular with the senior citizens and women.

“Even if we swing one more per cent in our favour (from the current 32 per cent) we will be able to secure 36 seats, a two per cent jump will have us win 42 seats and a three per cent jump will ensure 48 seats,” said Mr. Yadav adding that the AAP’s main challenger is the Congress.

The survey also reveals that the educated and the middle income groups are keener on the AAP. Also it has made inroads into traditional vote banks of the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party by garnering the support of Muslims (26 per cent), OBCs (33 per cent) and Dalits (32 per cent). The AAP’s vote share from the upper castes and Sikhs is also comparable to that of the Congress and the BJP.

The survey also shows drinking water, followed by cleanliness, bad roads and power cuts as the main election issues.

Summing up the trend, Arvind Kejriwal said: “The AAP is uniformly inching ahead, barring a few variations.”

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