The last date for filing nominations for the Delhi Assembly election saw a fair share of drama, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being made to wait for a long time to file his papers with the returning officer.
The three main players – Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have all declared their candidates.
While AAP is contesting all 70 seats, BJP has left two seats for JD(U) and one seat for LJP while Congress has left four seats for the RJD. Both national parties have accommodated its allies from Bihar, ostensibly in an effort to win the support of Bihari migrant voters.
Surprisingly both BJP and Congress have fielded relatively lightweight candidates against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the New Delhi constituency.
BJP has fielded the Delhi state president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha Sunil Yadav while Congress has put up former Delhi NSUI President Romesh Sabharwal.
The battle for Delhi has reached a crucial juncture. Let’s take stock of who stands where and the seats which are emerging as the ones to watch out for.
Did Candidates Change the Equations?
The Election Commission notified the Assembly polls on 6 January. According to CVoter’s tracker on 7 January, 53.6 percent respondents said they intended to vote for AAP as opposed to 29 percent who said they will vote for BJP and 3.8 percent who said they will vote for the Congress.
This hasn’t changed much two weeks later. CVoter’s tracker on 21 January said that 53 percent respondents voiced their intention to vote for AAP, a fall of 0.6 percentage points since 7 January. The figure for BJP and Congress declined by 0.1 percentage points and 0.4 percentage points respectively.
The only increase has been in voters who said they are “undecided” – from 11.8 percent on 6 January to 13.5 percent on 21 January. This is curious, as the undecided voters usually reduce as polling day approaches.
However, voters’ perception of who is winning has become clearer. CVoter asked voters whom they felt was likely to win in Delhi irrespective of their own preferences. On 21 January, 68 percent respondents said that they think AAP is winning the state, an increase from 65.5 percent on 7 January.
The figure for BJP also increased from 19.4 percent to 20.3 percent. Those who replied “can’t say” reduced by nearly three percentage points.
The perception of AAP’s winnability at the constituency level has also increased in the last two weeks. Nearly 60 percent respondents said that AAP is likely to win in their area.
So, the survey clearly indicates that two weeks into the campaign and with all the candidates having been declared, AAP’s lead is still intact.
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