The relatively high popularity of the Central government, the positive effects of welfare schemes and, in the case of Uttar Pradesh, a sharp religious polarisation led to the BJP’s victory in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Goa. These are the findings of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies-Lokniti’s post-poll survey conducted in these three States and Punjab, published exclusively by The Hindu. (No post-poll study was done in Manipur.)
Besides these factors, the effective bipolarity of competition was a major factor in U.P., Uttarakhand and Punjab. Goa, without such sharp bipolarity, gave the BJP only a slight advantage.
The survey finds that voters were more satisfied with Central government than they were with the State governments in the four States. In Punjab, there was a high level of dissatisfaction with both the Central and State governments. While more than half of the respondents exclusively blamed the government for COVID-19-related deaths in Punjab, one-third in U.P. and even fewer in Uttarakhand did so. Respondents mentioned unemployment and price rise as the key problems they face, but the BJP’s victories in U.P., Uttarakhand and Goa were due to the votes of the beneficiaries of free rations and cash transfers, among other factors. The party mattered more than the candidate, which explains the strong support for the BJP in U.P. and Uttarakhand, and for the AAP in Punjab. The candidate mattered more in Goa, which explained the tight race there.
The surveys were conducted using face-to-face interviews at the elector’s home after voting had taken place in constituencies that were randomly selected. The Hindu is publishing the first of the State-wise analysis with a detailed break-up of the survey results from Uttar Pradesh.
The surveys were conducted from February 15 to February 25 in Goa, February 21 to February 28 in Punjab, February 11 to March 9 in U.P., and February 15 to February 23 in Uttarakhand. The sampling design adopted was multi-stage systematic random sampling (SRS). The constituencies were randomly selected using the probability proportional to size method. Thereafter, four polling stations within each of the sampled constituencies were selected using the SRS method. In each polling station, 40 voters were randomly sampled from the electoral roll using the SRS method. Of these 40, 26 interviews were targeted. The interviews were conducted face-to-face at electors’ homes after voting had taken place in their area. The questionnaire designed for the interviews was a standardised semi-structured one. Interviews lasted about 15-20 minutes on average. The achieved raw sample has been weighted by gender, religion, locality, and caste group based on Census 2011 data. The final data sets have also been weighted by the actual vote shares secured by the major parties and alliances that contested the elections in each State. All analysis here has been presented on the weighted data sets.