The Karnataka Assembly elections are scheduled to be held for 10 May, and with barely four weeks left for polling day, the South First-Peoples Pulse pre-poll survey — carried out between 25 March and 10 April — has predicted a fractured mandate. The Karnataka 2023 Assembly election opinion poll projects that a change of government is on the anvil.
South First-Peoples Pulse pre-poll survey also shows that Congress leader Siddaramaiah is the popular choice as chief minister.
South First had published its first tracker poll in January this year in which the Congress was projected to emerge as the single-largest party in a tight contest.
The situation of a close contest seems to be continuing in Karnataka with about four percent of voters set to swing electoral outcomes.
The Karnataka 2023 opinion poll predicts that none of the three main parties — the BJP, JD(S) or the Congress — will cross the halfway mark of 113 in the 224-member Assembly of Karnataka.
What the 2023 Karnataka opinion poll numbers say
The pre-poll survey carried out by People’s Pulse for South First in Karnataka projects the Congress will win 98 seats within a range of 95 to 105 seats, making it the single-largest party.
The incumbent BJP is projected to win 92 seats within a range of 90 to 100 seats. The projection of performance of the two national parties shows that the contest could be closer than initially assessed.
In the South First tracker poll published in January this year, the Congress was projected to win 101 (+/- 9) seats and the BJP was predicted to win 91 (+/-7) seats.
Two months since then, while the Congress has gained marginally on vote share, it is projected to have lost its edge in a few seats.
The South First Karnataka 2023 opinion poll projects the JD(S) to win 27 seats and places the party in the range of 25 to 30 seats.
In case of a broken mandate where neither of the national parties manage to cross the halfway mark, JD(S), with its minimal seats, stands to emerge as kingmaker in Karnataka.
In the first tracker poll, JD(S) was predicted to win 29 (+/-5) seats and since then, the party has lost its vote share in some constituencies despite its flagship campaign Pancharathna Yatre striking a chord among voters.
Former minister and mining baron Gali Janardhana Reddy’s new party Kalyana Rajya Pragati Paksha (KRPP) is projected to win 1 to 2 seats, according to the South First-Peoples Pulse pre poll survey.
Other parties like AIMIM, SDPI are not projected to win any seats and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was recently accorded national party status, is unlikely to make any impact on electoral outcomes.
South First January Poll: Congress to emerge single-largest party in Karnataka
4% vote share set to be deciding factor
The South First-Peoples Pulse Karnataka opinion poll for the 2023 Assembly election shows that around four percent of voters did not express their choice of party to form the government. This four percent vote share is expected to become the deciding factor in the 10 May Assembly elections in Karnataka.
The pre-poll survey projects that Congress will gain 2.86 percent vote share.
Congress, which mopped up 38.14 percent vote share in the 2018 elections, is expected to increase its share to 41 percent this election. The gain in vote share is expected to translate into 18 seats for the Opposition party.
The incumbent BJP, which polled 36.35 percent votes in 2018, is projected to lose a small percent of its vote share. BJP is projected to get 36 percent vote share in the coming elections.
The JD(S) is expected to lose two percentage point vote share when compared to its 2018 numbers. The South First-Peoples Pulse projects 16 percent vote share for JD(S) in the upcoming polls.
The loss in vote share is projected to cost the JDS 10 seats.
With the South First tracker poll from January and now the pre-poll survey throwing up similar data, the indication is that voters have already decided on a change of government.
South First January Poll: Corruption is top issue for voters in Karnataka
Siddaramaiah top pick for CM
Congress legislature party chief Siddaramaiah continues to be the top pick for the chief minister’s post, the South First-Peoples Pulse survey found.
As many as 32 percent of the respondents picked Siddaramaiah as their choice of chief minister.
BJP’s veteran leader and Lingayat strongman BS Yediyurappa was picked by 25 percent of respondents as their choice of chief minister.
Incumbent Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was chosen by 20 percent of the respondents, while JD(S)’s HD Kumaraswamy was picked by 18 percent of the respondents.
Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar was chosen only by five percent of the respondents as their pick for the chief minister’s post.
South First January Poll: AHINDA consolidation gives Congress the edge
Who’s best for development?
A good 42 percent of the respondents said the Congress was the better choice for the development of Karnataka while 38 percent picked the BJP. Only 14 percent respondents thought the JD(S) was the better choice for the development of the state.
While 26 percent of the respondents said the Congress was likely to form the next government in Karnataka, 24 percent said it would be the BJP, and 15 percent batted for JD(S).
As many as 31 percent of the respondents said none of the three parties could come to government on their own. Four percent of the respondents were undecided.
A majority 51 percent respondents said the BJP government should not be given another chance in Karnataka, while 43 percent of the respondents said the saffron party should be given another chance. Six percent of the respondents were undecided.
In the case of a hung Assembly, 46 percent of the respondents batted for a Congress-JD(S) coalition government while 41 percent said they would like to see a BJP-JD(S) government.
Six percent of the respondents wanted a Congress+JD(S)+Others government, while seven percent chose BJP+JD(S)+Others.
Related: Divided Congress is underconfident BJP’s biggest strength in K’taka
Karnataka 2023 opinion poll: Survey methodology
The pre-poll survey was commissioned by South First and was conducted from 25 March to 10 April by Peoples Pulse Research organisation.
Pre-poll survey report was compiled by R Dileep Reddy, director, Peoples Pulse Research organisation.
The South First pre-poll survey was conducted in 56 Assembly segments selected on the basis of Probability Proportional Methodology (PPS).
Five polling stations were selected from each Assembly segment, making up 280 polling stations.
In each polling station, 20 samples were collected.
A total of 5,600 samples were chosen such that they reflected the situation on the ground in terms of caste, religion and age.
Gender was given equal representation. The sample profile included 51 percent male and 49 percent female respondents.
The sample profile included 40 percent urban dwellers, 60 percent rural dwellers. The profile included 12 percent Muslims, 16 percent Scheduled Castes (SCs) and eight percent Scheduled Tribes (STs).
The South First pre-poll survey factors in a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.