South First-Peoples Pulse Pre-poll Survey: Women voters prefer BRS, rural voters lean towards Congress

The survey for Telangana Assembly polls 2023 indicates an over four percent vote share gap between BRS and Congress.

BySumit Jha

Published Nov 26, 2023 | 2:53 PMUpdated Nov 26, 2023 | 2:53 PM

South First-Peoples Pulse Pre-poll Survey: Women voters prefer BRS, rural voters lean towards Congress

The South FirstPeoples Pulse Pre-poll Survey for the Telangana Assembly election indicates a greater inclination of women voters towards the BRS party on the basis of the welfare pensions and water supply schemes.

The survey reveals that 40.5 percent women favour the BRS party, while 38 percent lean towards Congress, 15 percent towards BJP, and 6.5 percent towards other parties.

The state will elect its 119-member Assembly on 30 November.

Overall, the South FirstPeoples Pulse Pre-poll Survey seats-share projections for Telangana’s 119-seat Assembly shows Congress has an edge in 57 to 62 seats. BRS is projected to have a lead in 41 to 46 seats. BJP is projected to have an edge in 3 to 6 seats and AIMIM in 6 to 7 seats. Others are likely to win 1-2 seats.

The survey also shows a vote share gap — over four percent — between the BRS and the Congress. Congress is projected to get 42.5 percent, while the ruling BRS is projected to get 37.6 percent.

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Women are for BRS, men for Congress 

Female voters expressed a preference for the BRS party due to the substantial positive impact of government initiatives, notably applauding the Mission Bhagiratha programme. This initiative ensures the availability of tap water in every household, reducing the challenges women face in accessing water resources and earning widespread praise from women voters.

South First Pre-Poll Survey Graphics- Gender

Similarly, the BRS party has become the favoured choice for women voters due to its pension schemes for beedi workers, a workforce predominantly composed of women. Women voters are inclined to uphold their allegiance to the BRS party, showing little inclination to shift from their established voting patterns, given the positive impact of the government’s schemes.

In an intriguing contrast, male voters exhibit a preference for Congress over the BRS party.

A notable 46.5 percent of male voters are more inclined towards Congress, whereas only 35 percent express a preference for the BRS.

It’s worth mentioning that male voters also display a lower likelihood to vote for the BJP, with only 11.4 percent favouring the party.

Additionally, 7.1 percent of male voters are exploring alternatives by considering other parties in their voting preferences.

Related: South First-Peoples Pulse Pre-poll Survey predicts edge to Congress

Rural-urban divide

The BRS, which has emphasised farmers’ issues and highlighted agricultural output increases, is encountering a shift in preference, especially in rural areas. Congress is making significant strides, securing the support of approximately 46.8 percent of the rural population, surpassing BRS which has a 36.6 percent vote share.

Meanwhile, BJP has made inroads in rural regions as well, garnering an 11.8 percent vote share. Other parties, with a mere 5.8 percent vote share, are perceived as less relevant in these areas.

The prevailing sentiment in rural areas indicates that Congress is gaining traction due to perceived shortcomings in the implementation of BRS government schemes. Residents are critical of the effectiveness of these initiatives as they are rolled out.

South First Pre-Poll Survey Graphics- Locality

Another contributing factor is the perceived disconnect between the local BRS leaders and the constituents. People feel that these leaders are inaccessible and detached from the ground realities of the constituencies, further contributing to the growing preference for Congress in rural belts.

In contrast to the rural scenario, the urban population exhibits a preference for the BRS party over Congress. Approximately 39 percent of urban residents favour the BRS party, slightly edging out the 37.5 percent who prefer the Congress party. Notably, in urban areas, BJP commands a larger vote share compared to the rural regions, potentially securing around 14.5 percent of the vote.

An intriguing development is the support for other parties, including the Hyderabad-based AIMIM, which is expected to secure approximately 9 percent of the vote share in the state.

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The preference of caste, class and religion

Farmers show a preference for Congress, leading BRS by an approximately seven percent margin. Notably, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has recently granted permission for the government to disburse Rythu Bandhu funds to the farmers.

Muslims constitute 13 percent of the electorate, playing a decisive role in shaping electoral outcomes in numerous constituencies.

In 24 Assembly constituencies with over 15 percent Muslim electorate, the South First-Peoples Pulse Pre-poll Survey indicates that BRS maintains a substantial lead among minorities. The party holds a significant advantage of over 15 percent compared to the Congress in this demographic.

This situation is noteworthy for two reasons. Firstly, despite Congress’ assertive claims that BRS aligns closely with the BJP on various issues, the survey suggests a distinct electoral preference among minorities. Secondly, despite extensive word-of-mouth publicity in favour of Congress, the trust of the minority community in BRS appears resilient, at least for the time being.

The Congress has established a strong lead among the Scheduled Castes (SCs) with a margin of 13 percent and the Scheduled Tribes (STs) by a significant 20 percent. This trend may be attributed to the perceived incomplete implementation of Dalit Bandhu and the inadequate issuance of pattas for podu lands by the current government.

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise in Hyderabad to expedite the classification of Dalits, it appears to have had limited impact on the ground.

In the case of Backward Classes (BCs), both parties find themselves in a comparable position. The BJP’s commitment to appoint a Backward Class chief minister, if it assumes power, appears to carry little weight with these communities.

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The survey comprised two components. The first was a structured questionnaire with face-to-face interviews with a secret ballot, and the second was computer-assisted telephonic interviews (CATI). The total sample size for both components was 15,000.

Peoples Pulse conducted the pre-poll survey with the structured questionnaire and face-to-face interviews in 51 Assembly segments selected on the basis of Probability Proportional Methodology (PPM).

Four polling stations were selected from each Assembly segment using the Systematic Random Sampling. In each polling station, 20-25 randomly selected samples from the electoral rolls were surveyed.

A total of 4,500 samples were chosen such that the sample reflected the situation on the ground in terms of caste, religion, and age. Gender was given equal representation.

Peoples Pulse, a Hyderabad-based political research organisation, conducted the survey for South First, a digital news platform, on the ground for both the components. The technical support for CATI was provided by Codemo.

An Exit Poll would be conducted by South First-Peoples Pulse on 30 November. The results would be released at 7.30 pm.

The Peoples Pulse team comprised Bathula Suresh Babu, Gurram Muralikrishna, Sambasiva Rao, Muralikrishna Sharma, A Naga Raju, J Praveen, Ramchander, J Jagadeshwar, Sridhar, Pradeep, and Prashanth. They executed the field work, data analysis, and report writing.

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