Delhi 2020

AAP owes it to the young and poor

In every age group, AAP’s vote share was significantly higher than that of BJP

The sheer scale of the Aam Aadmi Party’s sweep – winning 67 out of 70 seats and over half of all the votes – would indicate that the party won the support of all segments of Delhi society.

While this is true, the party’s support base leaned on slightly younger, poorer voters and those from more marginalised backgrounds, according to a post-poll survey by Lokniti at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

The survey was conducted soon after voting ended on February 7, among 2,060 respondents in 120 locations across 24 Assembly constituencies in the city; the sample’s demographic profile closely resembled that of the city, and the declared vote preference of the sample matched the ultimate actual vote share, the survey said.

The researchers found that the AAP’s vote share was the highest among Delhi’s youngest voters – aged 18 to 22 – rising even further among young Dalit voters. The party’s vote share then gradually declines by age, falling to 45 per cent among those aged 56 and above.

In every age group, however, the AAP’s vote share was significantly higher than that of the BJP, and even at its narrowest (among the oldest voters), it had a lead of nine percentage points over the BJP.

Women and men voted in virtually the same way.

Among the various social groups analysed by Lokniti, the AAP’s vote share was highest among Muslims and Dalits, 77 per cent and 68 per cent respectively. In the case of Muslims in particular, the growth in the AAP’s popularity has been remarkable, going from 12 per cent in 2013 to 77 per cent in 2015. Relatively, its popularity was lowest among upper castes; Brahmins, Vaishyas/Jains and Jats were the only caste groups among whom the BJP had a higher vote share than the AAP.

“Muslims have the same needs as everyone else. They are also concerned about electricity and water, about rising prices,” Amanatullah Khan, AAP’s new MLA from Okhla, told The Hindu.

“The Congress only made promises, so the Muslim community’s faith in it disappeared. But while the community usually votes to defeat the BJP, in this election, it voted to ensure the AAP’s victory,” he said.

The AAP’s support was highest among the poorest voters surveyed by Lokniti, and lowest among the richest, whose preferences were split between the BJP and the AAP.

One important reversal in fortunes is the shift of the peak of AAP’s popularity from those with the highest media exposure (2013) to those with the lowest; this, they said, indicated that the traditional Congress vote had shifted to the AAP.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 10:29:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/delhi-assembly/aap-owes-it-to-the-young-and-poor/article6888673.ece

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