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Jobs were less of a concern during elections

Rafale controversy did not register with voters, finds post-election survey

May 20, 2019 01:05 am | Updated 01:05 am IST

Economic issues, including “unemployment”, were less salient in determining voter choice over the course of the election, Lokniti’s post-poll survey found in comparison to its pre-poll results published jointly by The Hindu in the run-up to the election.

Those who mentioned “economic issues” related to unemployment, the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), price rise and poverty as key concerns fell from a high of 38% in the pre-poll to 25% in the post-poll survey. Only 12% of the respondents identified unemployment as the most important issue, a drop of nine percentage points from the pre-poll survey.

Significant drop

The drop in these numbers are significant as the bulk of those who reported economic issues as key concerns were more likely to support the Opposition and the United Progressive Alliance.

The post-poll survey also found that while awareness of the Congress’s flagship minimum income promise, the NYAY scheme, had increased over the course of the election, a significant section of the poor — the targeted recipients — had yet to learn about it. The Congress’s attempt to bring “corruption” as a key plank in relation to the Rafale deal also did not quite register, the survey found. While only half of the respondents had heard of the controversy, less than half among them felt that there was wrongdoing by the government. In other words, the Rafale controversy did not quite have an impact as the Congress expected.

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