Urban Opinion Poll: BJP’s Strategic Map for 2019 Election
We have been tracking urban voters daily for the last 5 weeks reporting how their voting intentions are changing during this period. We were closely able to observe their response to the budget, the attack on Pulwama, Rahul Gandhi’s press conferences on Rafale and so on. We will continue reporting this over the next 5 weeks.
The Aeon CrowdWisdom 360 survey is an attempt by us to make available tracking data to the public and enable all of us to get a sense of how voters respond to various issues. It covers a sample size of 1900 a week covering 19 cities and 42 Seats. The margin of error is 3% and a confidence of 99%.
Over the last one week, we added a new question, about the issues that matter to the voter and specifically which is the number 1 issue that matters to each of the voters. Today, we will give you a brief insight into BJP’s strategic map
There are 3 columns in the table above
– The First column is the issue (This is asked in an umprompted form)
– The second column is our categorisation of the frequency with which the issue appears as number 1. We have also added all the frequencies of that group of issues to give you a sense of their contribution
– The third column is how well BJP is performing on that issue. On performance we mean amongst voters who consider that issue to be number 1, whether BJP’s share is better or worse than competition. The words used for description are clear in their implication. The darker green implies ahead by a big % and the darker red implies trailing by a large %
Observations, Interpretation and Insights
1. Resources are limited during governance as well as political campaigns. So it is NOT unnatural to see such a Table. Parties cannot do everything. What they do well, they communicate aggressively. On issues that they struggle on, they use a variety of anchors to defend themselves. Anchors could be emotional like Trust, Reliability and so on (You are saying we are bad but no one trusts you. You are not capable of doing a better job than us and son on) or Benchmarks that will show the party in good light (We are better than Global, we performed better than you and so on)
2. BJP is ahead on 3 out of the 5 most important factors (In terms of incidence). This is a good start. During the recent budget, the Government attempted to address the income problem by cutting taxes and providing direct money transfers. The significant bounce seen in our data suggests that the move benefitted the BJP. However, it appears that the party still trails the Congress and the regional parties suggesting that the move was good but not enough. In terms of talking points, the BJP’s likely pitch will be as follows
– Talk aggressively on National Security, Corruption and Infrastructure. Use Corruption (as a strength) to defend on Income Growth and Jobs. There will be talk about how NPAs almost destroyed the economy and we are the fastest growing economy now. The anchor points that I referred to earlier will be used extensively to defend the BJP position
3. BJP is trailing on the bottom 6 factors. These 6 make up for 26% of incidence, almost the same as national security and income growth combined. It is not the BJP hasn’t put effort on the these issues, perhaps the outcomes haven’t turned out as they had hoped.
The BJP’s pitch is likely to focus on Ayushman Bharat which was launched last year, whole host of yojanas for the poor (The PM washing sanitation feet workers feet is an attempt to improve perception that the BJP cares for the poor), talk about how inflation was very high and how the BJP Governments have pushed for Urban Infrastructure.
4. BJP local workers will aggressively push how local security has improved for them since they have come to power. This is of particular importance to women. It is very interesting how this was an important element of the campaign in Uttar Pradesh.
The Opposition has numerous opportunities to attack the BJP whether it is on the economy or on the poor and the farmers. They will also attempt to attack the Government on National security by using economy as a pivot.
It is likely that when we see the table above, each of us have different opinions on the facts of the case. That does not matter. Further, Whoever communicates well and dominates the narrative will win the election. It is likely that importance of various factors will change over the next few weeks and so will party’s performance amongst those voters. Parties must be mindful of that. Nothing else matters!