Delhi elections: opinion polls show AAP may get clear majority

With the Delhi assembly elections only four days away, opinion polls agree that Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party will emerge on top, pushing Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata party to second place. The Congress, predictably, will be a distant third.

Aam Admi Party chief Arvind KejriwalThe exact numbers of seats vary between various pollsters. An ABP News-Nielsen opinion poll finds the AAP is likely to emerge as the single largest party with 35 seats, one short of a majority in the 70-member house. The BJP is projected to get 29 seats while Congress is expected to get six seats.

AAP chief Kejriwal seems to be the most preferred candidate for chief minister of Delhi with 48 per cent of the vote, by the BJP's Kiran Bedi of BJP with 42 per cent.

In terms of voting percentages, AAP is likely to get 37 per cent of the votes cast, followed by the BJP with 33 per cent and Congress with 18 per cent.

The survey found that AAP maintained its strong hold over economically weaker sections of society and Muslims. The party had substantial support among voters living in slums, with nearly every second voter in slums intending to vote for the party.

Another poll by the India Today Group-Cicero pre-poll tracker for February puts the AAP even further ahead with between 38 to 46 seats. The party had won 28 seats in the 2013 election.

The BJP is likely to get 19 to 25 seats compared to its 2013 showing of 31 seats. The Congress is expected to slump below its 8 member winning contingent in 2013 and is likely to win 3 to 7 seats.

In terms of vote share, AAP could bag 43.5 per cent of the vote share, a jump of 7.5 per cent since January 2015. For both December 2014 and January 2015, the tracker had put the party at 36 per cent.

AAP seems to have made late gains with a swing of 14 per cent in its favour compared to the 29.5 per cent in the 2013 elections.

The BJP's vote share forecast has dipped in the last month by 4.5 per cent, says the pre-poll tracker. While the BJP vote share in January stood at 40 per cent, it is down to 35.5 per cent this month. The vote share in December 2014 was 39 per cent. The BJP surge seems to be evening out, says the data.

Despite the dip in vote share from what the party got in the 2013 elections when it became the single largest party, the swing is actually positive with the BJP gaining 2.4 per cent vote share. The BJP's vote share in the 2013 elections was 33.1 per cent.

The Congress seems to be fighting a losing battle as per the data. It has seen a significant dip in vote share compared to the 2013 elections where it faced anti-incumbency. The party's vote share has fallen by 11.5 per cent (from 24.5 per cent in December 2013 to 13 per cent in February 2015), says the pre-poll survey.

This poll also points to a distinct class divide -  slums and lower class colonies seem to have increased their liking for AAP, the party got 53 per cent and 45 per cent in the February tracker while in January it was 40 per cent and 36 per cent in January 2015.

Rural Delhi has also taken a shine to AAP with 44 per cent support in February as against 37 per cent in January. Elite colonies continue to be with the BJP while the middle-class colonies seem to be swinging towards AAP.