UP TURNS SAFFRON?
However, in Punjab 60 per cent think the strikes have not helped the ruling party’s chances. The saffron surge is most significant in the most populous state, Uttar Pradesh (over 200 million population), often considered an election bellwether in India, though Hindutva issues like gau raksha and Ram mandir have found no traction. The party got just 15 per cent of the vote in 2012, but is now predicted to win 31 per cent, an unprecedented 16 per cent swing in its favour. This could get the BJP 170 to 183 seats. But even as it emerges the single largest party, it would still need 20-30 seats to form the government in Lucknow (202 seats out of 403). This might prove difficult as only 10 seats are predicted for ‘Others’, unless the BJP is able to split one of its rivals (BSP, SP or Congress).
The BSP also seems to be gaining from the fierce anti-incumbency against the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government. Indeed, Mayawati, favoured by 31 per cent of voters, is the top choice for chief minister. The SP’s negative swing of 4 per cent (from 29 per cent of the vote in 2012 to 25 Very good Not enough Don’t know