If general elections are held now, the Trinamool Congress will improve on its 2009 vote share in West Bengal by one percentage point, and the Congress by eight percentage points, a CSDS countrywide poll says. The Left Parties’ share, the poll notes, would plummet from the 43 per cent it received in 2009 to 28 per cent; the BJP’s would double from the six per cent it had to 12 per cent.

Muslims, the 2013 The Hindu-CNN-IBN-CSDS election tracker says, marginally preferred the previous Buddhadeb Bhattacharya-led Left Front government to Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool administration, 37 per cent plumping for the past, 36 per cent for the present. And while rural Bengal is overwhelmingly with the Trinamool, 39 per cent as against 29 per cent for the Left, the opposite is true of urban areas: 39 per cent hanker for Mr. Bhattacharya; 37 per cent are content with Ms. Banerjee.

The CSDS poll also suggests that in the event of a Third Front government coming to power in 2014, Ms. Banerjee would be the third choice nationally for PM, polling eight per cent, behind Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (12 per cent) and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa (nine per cent).

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