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NEW DELHI: The ruling BJP is set to have the last laugh in the bitterly contested Gujarat assembly elections, if the predictions made by various opinion polls are to be believed. However, the ruling party will be way below its target of 150 seats.
The Congress, on the other hand, is poised to make gains, but not enough to capture power in the state.
According to latest survey by CVoter, the BJP is likely to win 109 seats and Congress may have to settle with only 76 seats in the Gujarat assembly elections.
However, if we do a poll of polls – based on three surveys conducted by CVoter, Times Now-VMR and Lokniti-CSDS-ABP – the BJP will win 105 seats in the Gujarat assembly, while the Congress will manage only 74. The other cadidates may win 3 seats, the surveys show.
The caste coalition stitched by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat seems to have bolstered the poll prospects of the party. However, going by the predictions, the boost does not appear to be enough to catapult the party to power after 22 years.
The opinion poll numbers show that the ruling BJP, which has put out all the stops, appears to be cruising to victory yet again, though they differ on the margin of victory.
While the Times Now-VMR opinion poll predicts 106-116 seats for the BJP, CVoter/TV9 predicts 109 seats for the ruling party. The Lokniti-CSDS-ABP poll gives the BJP 91 to 99 seats.
These predictions put BJP in a comfortable position with 91 being the majority mark in the 182-member assembly.
The Congress, on the other hand, will have to contend with anything between 63 and 86 seats in the assembly. While the Lokniti-CSDS-ABP poll gives Congress 78 to 86 seats, Times Now-VMR opinion poll puts the figure between 63 and 73 seats. The CVoter/TV9 predicts 73 seats for the Congress.
This despite the fact that at least two opinion polls show increase in Congress vote share compared to the 2012 assembly polls.
The CVoter/TV9 opinion poll shows Congress voteshare increasing from 38.8 per cent to 41.7 per cent while the BJP voteshare declining from 47.8 per cent to 46.5 per cent.
The CVoter survey shows Congress gaining across all the four regions in the state – Central Gujarat, north Gujarat, Saurashtra and south Gujarat. The BJP, on the other hand, is gaining votes only in Saurashtra region while its voteshare dips in the other 3 regions.
The Times Now-VMR survey also forecasts 3 per cent reduction in BJP’s vote share while a marginal increase of one per cent for the Congress.
The opinion poll shows overall BJP vote share decreasing from 48 per cent in 2012 to 45 per cent in 2017, while for the Congress it shows increase from 39 to 40 per cent.