Tarique Anwar, BeyondHeadlines
New Delhi: An opinion poll commissioned by a newly launched website has predicted victory for the AIADMK combine but said no party would get a majority in the Tamil Nadu elections. The Jayalalithaa-led alliance has been projected to win a tally of 144 seats in the 234-member assembly, well above the half-way mark of 117 seats, according to LensOnNews.com.
The ruling DMK combine, despite an impressive line up of alliance partners, is trailing behind and may end up with 88 seats. But while the AIADMK alliance is expected to win a comfortable majority, the AIADMK, contesting about 160 seats, is expected to win only 100 seats, well short of the majority mark of 118.
Thus, it seems unlikely there will be a single party majority government in the state. The LensOnNews poll was conducted among a representative, cross-sectional sample of nearly 3,000 voters in 12 carefully constituencies in the first week of March.
The huge gap in the projected seats of the rival DMK-AIADMK alliances is not reflected in their vote shares. The AIADMK alliance is projected to secure 47 percent of the popular vote against 46 percent for the DMK alliance. But the small difference is delivering a rich harvest of seats for the AIADMK combine.
The AIADMK alliance has a favourable distribution of votes as its increased vote share due to its alliance with the Vijayakanth’s DMDK party is helping it gain a large number of additional seats. In contrast, the DMK alliance has a lot of “wasted votes” in terms of the huge margins in seats it is winning and falling short elsewhere where small margins could help it wrest more seats.
The poll says that as much as 48 percent of the sampled voters believe Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s family has benefited in the second generation spectrum scam. Only 21 percent believed otherwise. The DMK seems to have countered the corruption taint with populist governance.
A whopping 92 percent of the voters interviewed in the poll have said that their households received free colour TVs from the DMK government in the last five years. Thanks to such populism, 46 percent of the voters felt that the DMK was better for governance in the state. Only 42 percent rooted for the AIADMK.
Despite the corruption charges, octogenarian leader Karunanidhi remains very popular among the electorate and leads the popularity ratings, albeit by a narrow margin. Karunanidhi is the preferred chief minister for 43 percent of voters in the state against 42 percent for his challenger, Jayalalithaa.