Have AAP's Pre-poll Surveys Matched The Real Numbers? Here's a Look
A look the past ‘internal surveys’ reveals that the Aam Aadmi Party has consistently scored way below its claims, except 2015 Delhi Assembly polls when the result was better than expectations.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a press conference after releasing the AAP manifesto for MCD elections on April 19. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Ashish Khetan on Thursday released the party’s ‘internal survey’ for the April 23 Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls, projecting that the party would win 218 out of 272 seats. The AAP says it hired an ‘independent’ polling agency, which said that BJP would win 39 seats and Congress would win only eight. This is not the first time when AAP has released such a survey. A look the past ‘internal surveys’ reveals that the party has consistently scored way below its claims, except 2015 Delhi Assembly polls when the result was better than expectations.
DELHI ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS, 2013
Prediction: 40-50 seats
In December 2013, the party contested its first election and was hoping to capitalise on anti-incumbency against then chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who had governed the city-state for 15 years. Days before polls, psephologist-turned-politician Yogendra Yadav, who was then an AAP leader, released a video titled ‘Why surveys are missing that AAP is winning Delhi elections’.
In the video, Yadav had claimed that AAP would get a ‘clear majority’. He went on to say that if there was an increase of 2% in AAP’s vote share, the party would win 40-50 seats. While AAP won 28 seats, beyond general expectations, it fell short of the magic number of 35. The BJP was the single-largest party, though it, too, fell short of majority. Eventually, AAP formed the government as Congress, with 8 MLAs, didn’t vote against it in the Assembly.
DELHI ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS, 2015
The AAP, after it had quit the government in 49 days, faced another electoral test in the Capital and yet another ‘internal survey’ was released. This time also, the party’s survey was off the mark. It had predicted to win 51 out of 70 seats, but got 67, reducing the BJP to only three seats. The Congress failed to open its account.
MCD BYPOLLS, 2016
AAP contested civic polls for the first time in the 2016 bypolls, when 13 out of Delhi’s 272 wards voted. The party had predicted a ‘clean sweep’ in the polls. While it emerged as the single-largest party, it won only five seats. The Congress came second with four seats and BJP was in third place with three seats. The one remaining seat went to an independent.
GOA ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS, 2017
Prediction: ‘Clear majority’ (21+) / Vote share: 41.9%
Result: 0 / Vote share: 6.3%
The AAP had released an ‘internal survey’ for the Goa Assembly polls, claiming a ‘clean sweep’. It also predicted a 41.9% vote share. The results were humiliating for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party since it failed to open its account. It was a hung assembly and the Congress emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats. AAP’s vote share was 85% below its prediction at 6.3%. The BJP, which won just 13 seats, managed to form the government with support from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and the Goa Forward Party.
PUNJAB ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS, 2017
While AAP managed to emerge as the principle opposition party, it fell massively short of its own expectations. The party in its internal surveys had predicted that it would win 107 seats, but ended up getting just 20. The Congress, under Captain Amarinder Singh, won 77 seats. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP combine came third with 15 seats.
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