Arvind Kejriwal's ruling Aam Aadmi Party is poised for a rout if Delhi were to hold assembly elections today, according to a comparative analysis of the India Today-Axis-My-India's MCD forecast.
In Sunday's municipal vote in the city, the BJP is expected to bag 202-220 of the total 272 wards, up from its tally of 142 in 2012. Axis-My-India pollsters have predicted a sizeable decline in the Congress' share -- from 77 five years ago to somewhere between 19-31 in the MCD of 2017.
Kejriwal's AAP, which debuted in municipal elections this year, is projected to win 23 to 35 wards.
And if extrapolated to 70 assembly constituencies of Delhi, these figures for the MCD boroughs would spell doom for the Aam Aadmi Party government.
A ward-to-constituency computation of exit polls suggests the AAP numbers would plummet down to a single digit if elections for Delhi's legislature were to be held today. Two years ago, Kejriwal's party won the same house with a landslide of 67, delivering a bloody nose to its powerful rivals.
But if municipal projections are any indication, the AAP seems to have lost popular support among various sections of Delhi voters, who catapulted it to power in the state assembly back in 2015.
A deeper study of exit-poll predictions from the MCD elections unfolds a potential fall of the Aam Aadmi Party and a sterling rise of the BJP in the event of a mid-term vote for the state assembly around this time.
Together with the Congress, Kejriwal's AAP might have to settle down at 4-7 seats if elections to the Delhi legislature were held now, the extrapolated data show. The BJP, on the other hand, is expected to get 56-62 constituencies in such a scenario, up from 03 in 2015.
The saffron party is also set to retain all its seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi if general elections happened today, the data illustrate.
The Axis-My-India's city-wide survey found 57 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with the state administration of Arvind Kejriwal compared to 68 per cent endorsing the Modi government at the centre for its performance.
Individually, the AAP convenor still remains the most preferred leader of Delhi's citizens, with 25 per cent of respondents placing their confidence in him. The BJP's Manoj Tiwari follows him closely, with 21 per cent rallying round in support. Ajay Maken of the Congress party trails badly, with only 4 per cent of citizens ticking him off on the favourite list.
In terms of party-preference though, the BJP tops public choice with 43 per cent of people in its support, followed by the AAP (25 per cent) and the Congress (18 per cent), according to the survey.
With its promise of uplifting the downtrodden, Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party caught the imagination of lower-castes two years ago.
But now, a large part of this key bloc seems to moved away from the AAP. As high as 41 per cent of the SCs/STs and 49 per cent of the OBCs are throwing their weight behind the BJP in 2017, the Axis-My-India statistics disclose.For them, the AAP is now the second choice followed by the Congress, the study shows.
Like the lower-castes, Delhi's Muslims too overwhelmingly stood beside Kejriwal when he sought re-election in 2015. But the Axis-My-India survey has observed the minority community is moving back rapidly to Rahul Gandhi's party. Around 42 per cent of Muslims who participated in the latest study favoured the Congress as against 37 per cent supporting the AAP.
Among Delhi's Sikhs, the data showed, close to 43 per cent backed the BJP over 27 per cent rooting for the AAP and 23 per cent for the Congress.
Class-wise, the BJP has been found to be maintaining a considerable lead over other political players in Delhi across all income groups -- from less than Rs 10,000 a household to residents of high-end villas.
A large number of slum-dwellers and other economically-weaker citizens, who were seen as a core support-base of the AAP in 2015, are now leaning towards the BJP, the study indicates. Almost 40 per cent of respondents in slums chose Modi's party, 26 per cent Kejriwal's and 25 per cent Gandhi's Congress.
The BJP now also enjoyed support of 42 per cent of citizens with a monthly household income of up to Rs 10,000. Around 25 per cent backed the AAP and 23 per cent the Congress in the same category, according to the survey.
Two years ago, young voters gravitated in hordes towards the AAP. But not any more if Axis-My-India study is to be believed. In the 18-35 age-group, 45 per cent of respondents in the poll now favoured Modi's party followed by 23 per cent supporting Kejriwal's.
The Axis-My-India survey was based on face-to-face interviews across 272 wards of Delhi, with a sample-size of 13,800. "As high as 68 per cent Delhi's citizenry has expressed satisfaction with the Modi government.
"As high as 68 per cent Delhi's citizenry has expressed satisfaction with the Modi government. This primarily is Brand Modi that has drawn the voters towards the BJP and away from the AAP," said Pradeep Gupta, managing director of Axis-My-India.