South First poll predicts Congress will emerge as single-largest party in tight fight in Karnataka

The South First-People’s Pulse poll shows an increase in the Congress' vote share and a gain of 22 seats; Siddaramaiah is top choice for CM.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 04, 2023 | 7:08 PMUpdatedMar 03, 2023 | 4:57 PM

Karnataka Assembly election: Just like the South First opinion poll, the internal surveys of both the Congress and BJP too show that the former is set to emerge as the single-largest party

The Karnataka Assembly election, scheduled to take place in April-May this year, is set to throw up a hung verdict, according to the South First-People’s Pulse survey. The survey also shows that Siddaramaiah is the top choice for chief minister in the state.

The first Tracker Poll carried out by People’s Pulse and CICERO for South First in Karnataka has predicted that the Congress could win 101 (+/- 9) seats, making it the single-largest party in the 224-member Assembly.

The 2023 Karnataka opinion poll has predicted 91 (+/-7) seats for the incumbent BJP and 29 (+/-5) seats for the Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S).

This means, despite being the party with least number of seats, the JD(S) may once again be in a position to decide the fate of the next government in Karnataka.

While the first Karnataka opinion poll for 2023 predicts a slight edge to the Congress in Karnataka, the Assembly elections are set to be a nail-biter.

The first Tracker Poll was conducted from 22 to 31 December, 2022. Two more Tracker Polls are scheduled — in March 2023 and just before the elections.

The report was compiled and prepared by Cicero Founder Director Dhananjai Joshi.

Also read: Who is BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa, Yediyurappa loyalist whose son was caught taking bribes?

Siddaramaiah is top choice for chief minister

The South First-People’s Pulse survey also showed that Congress leader Siddaramaiah was the popular choice for chief minister.

As many as 28 percent of respondents chose Siddaramaiah as their preferred candidate as chief minister, while only 5 percent picked DK Shivakumar, the Karnataka Congress president and the other strong contender for the post from the party.

Incumbent Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai of the BJP was chosen by 19 percent of respondents and JD(S) leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy by 18 percent.

Only 11 percent of the respondents picked BJP veteran BS Yediyurappa as their choice of chief minister.

About 41 percent of those who responded opted for a Congress-JD(S) coalition in the event of a hung Assembly, while 38 percent chose a BJP-JD(S) alliance.

Congress set to gain in vote share, seats

As per the South First-People’s Pulse 1st Tracker Poll for Karnataka, the Congress is set to gain more than 2 percentage points of the vote share. The secret ballot conducted as part of the survey showed that the Congress vote share would move from 38 percent in 2018 to 40 percent today.

The gain in vote share will effectively translate to the Congress gaining 22 seats, the survey suggests.

The BJP is likely to lose a vote share of just 0.2 percentage point, but even that slight drop is predicted to cost the party 13 seats.

Despite being touted to lose 2.4 percentage points of the vote share and get only 29 seats, the JD(S) is predicted to remain the kingmaker in Karnataka after the Assembly elections.

The results of the South First-People’s Pulse 1st Tracker Poll for Karnataka pertain to time period between 22 to 31 December 2022. Two more poll trackers are scheduled in March 2023, just before elections.

Methodology of South First-People’s Pulse Karnataka opinion poll

The South First-People’s Pulse 1st Tracker Poll has a total sample of 4,584 respondents spread across 224 locations spanning 56 Assembly constituencies of Karnataka.

The sample is representative of the social and political demography of Karnataka with an average Margin of Error on the voting variable of 1.2 (+ / –) percentage points. Weighted data sets are the basis of the analysis.

The survey employed a Multi-stage Stratified Random Sample Design. At the first stage, 56 Assembly constituencies were randomly sampled and finalised after checking demographic and political representativeness against demographic data from the Census of India and past election results from the Election Commission of India.

Within each sampled Assembly constituency, four polling booths were randomly sampled. The latest electoral rolls for all 224 polling booths were downloaded from the Election Commission of India website.

The data collection method employed was CAPI (Computer Assisted Interpersonal Interviewing), and all interviews were conducted face-to-face using an in-house Android application for data collection and transmission.

Before starting the questionnaire, each respondent’s informed consent was recorded after reading out a Statement of Informed Consent.

The voting question was asked using a dummy Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) to maintain respondents’ confidentiality.

A complete “background section” of the instrument focused on gathering detailed demographic information such as age, gender, caste-community, occupation, etc, of the respondent to identify patterns of voting and public opinion across different demographics.

Geotagging of surveyors helped in monitoring movement, and variables such as timestamps helped in identifying systemic errors.

A rigorous back-check of 15 percent of the total interviews ensured high standards of data quality.

All field investigators were trained in data collection methods and were supervised by a team of experienced supervisors. All the data is saved on a secure cloud server and is exported in the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) format for analysis.

[With the Karnataka Assembly elections 2023 just weeks away, South First is bringing you ground reports from key constituencies:

Buzz around Siddaramaiah in AHINDA seat of Kolar & long wait for development

Golden past, distressing present — and why KGF prefers local candidates

The unmissable anti-incumbency in Chintamani Assembly constituency]