Bihar Opinion Poll: CVoter survey says Nitish Kumar may return; Chirag Paswan unlikely to be a factor

FP Staff
·4-min read

A pre-poll survey in the election-bound state of Bihar has predicted a pro-incumbency result, suggesting that Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar will retain the chief minister's post despite abysmal approval ratings.

Pollster CVoter has published these results in collaboration with Times Now and ABP News in Hindi and English. The ABP News-CVoter survey was conducted between 1 and 23 October, by speaking to 30,678 people across the 243 seats that are due for elections, the news portal said. The survey statistics of the Times Now poll were not explicitly mentioned by the news portal.

The survey, conducted by CVoter in partnership with Times Now suggested that 41.22 percent of the respondents were not satisfied at all with Nitish's performance, while 61.1 percent desperately wanted a change in power. Of the total respondents, 46.79 percent said their standard of living has deteriorated in the last year. But despite that, the ruling National Democratic Alliance was expected to secure 34.4 percent votes, slightly higher than the Rashtriya Janata Dal-lead Mahagathbandhan, which is expected to bag 31.8 percent votes.

In the 2015 Assembly polls, when the Nitish Kumar-led party was a part of the Mahagathbandhan, while LJP was in the NDA, the statistics were like this: BJP (24.4 percent vote share with 53 seats), RJD (18.4 percent vote share with 80 seats) and JD(U) (16.8 percent vote share with 71 seats). The Lok Janshakti Party, then headed by late Ram Vilas Paswan got 4.8 percent votes and two seats in the Assembly election.

Unlike vote share, the NDA is expected to perform way better than Mahagathbandhan in terms of seats. The survey results published by ABP News revealed that the NDA could win 135-159 seats in the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly, which is comfortably higher than the magic number (122). The Mahagathbandhan is likely to secure 77-98 seats, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party is unlikely to bring any decisive improvement in its tally. The LJP is expected to get 5.2 percent votes and 1 to 5 seats according to the CVoter survey.

A region-wise break-up of the survey results also showed the BJP-JD(U) combine performing decidedly better than the Mahagathbandhan. In the Magadh-Bhojpur region, which has 69 Assembly seats, NDA was expected to grab 44 percent vote share and 36-44 seats; Mahagathbandhan is likely to get roughly 23-30 seats and 33 percent vote share.

The votes in Mithilanchal region, which has 50 Assembly seats, also appear to be tipped in favour of the NDA. The Mahagathbandhan could secure 38 percent (27 to 31 seats) votes against NDA's 41 percent (18 to 21 seats).

The votes in Seemanchal region (25 seats) is expected to throw up a more equal contest. Nitish-lead alliance could get 11 to 15 seats while the Mahagathbandhan could win 8 to 11 seats. The Mahagathbandhan, however, may easily overtake NDA in terms of vote share. The Tejashwi Yadav-lead Opposition alliance could win 46 percent votes, while NDA may secure 28 percent of the polls cast in the region.

In the Ang Pradesh region, the NDA is expected to take a decisive lead with 16-20 seats against Mahagathbandhan's 6-10 seats. The region has a total of 27 seats.

The North Bihar region, the largest of all sub-regions with 73 seats, is likely to side with Nitish. The NDA could win 46 percent votes with 45 to 49 seats. Mahagathbandhan is expected to get 32 percent votes and a seat share ranging between 32 and 36.

The Bihar Assembly election will be conducted in three phases and the first phase of polling for 71 seats will take place on 28 October. The second phase of polling for 94 seats will happen on 3 November and the third phase of polling for the remaining 78 constituencies will be on 7 November. The results will be announced on 10 November.

Around 7.29 crore people are set to cast their vote in the Hindi heartland state. Out of this, nearly 78 lakh will be first-time voters.

This time, the state is seeing three major contenders: the ruling and the opposition alliances and Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party which is angling for the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly.

On one side is the NDA which includes JD(U) (115 seats), BJP (110 seats), Vikassheel Insaan Party (11 seats) and Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (7 seats). Mahagathbandhan constitutes Lalu Prasad's RJD (currently helmed by his son Tejashwi Yadav) which is fielding candidates in 144 seats and the Congress with 70 seats. Other allies include the CPI-ML (19 seats), CPI (6 seats), and the CPIM (4 seats).

Also See: Chirag Paswan, in the running to inherit father's kingmaker legacy, gets unexpected ally in Tejashwi Yadav

Bihar needs leadership of both Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar, says JP Nadda at Gaya rally

Bihar Polls: Nitish Kumar campaigns in Ram Vilas Paswan's turf, refrains from criticising Chirag

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