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Did You Miss CNN-IBN-The Week Post Poll Study On Bihar?

The study gives the real picture of people’s choice in Bihar after all the rounds of voting.

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | November 22, 2010

The JD(U)-BJP alliance is poised to emerge as the big winner in Bihar as the sixth and final round of voting comes to an end today. A CNN-IBN-The Week study clearly shows JD(U)+BJP returning to power for a second term with a projected 185-201 seats -- way ahead of its closest rival RJD+LJP alliance. The RJD+LJP alliance looks set to return its worst performance ever and sit in opposition again with only 22-32 seats. The Congress is projected to be at a distant third place with 6-12 seats with independents, Left and Others ending up with 9-19 seats, according to the study.

JD(U)+BJP  seems set to emerge as the single largest alliance in Bihar with 46% vote share as the sixth and final phase of polling comes to an end, the CNN IBN-The Week post poll study has projected,  followed by RJD-LJP alliance at a distant second position with 27% votes. The Congress remains at third position with 9% of vote share.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s popularity continues to be way ahead of his nearest rival – with former chief ministers Rabri Devi+Laloo Yadav. While Nitish is preferred as the CM by 54% of voters as the man in the top office for a consecutive second term, Rabri-Laloo fall way behind with only 28% preferring either of them.  In the last elections, held in October 2005, Nitish Kumar was the preferred choice as CM with 43% of voters choosing him showing an improvement in his record. Nitish Kumar’s popularity has been increasing over last few years since 2004 reaching at all time high with 60% in 2009. Rabri Devi-Laloo Yadav as the choice for the Chief Minister has not changed significantly in all these years and has stayed as in the past, between 25-30%.

It’s not only Nitish Kumar’s individual popularity, but his government too is riding a high with a significant 60% of voters, suggesting they would want his government to rule the state again. Only 29% want a change in power in the state. This is a huge improvement compared to that of last election in February 2005 where only 30% wanted to give a second chance to the government.

Nitish Kumar’s government has also scored well on the satisfaction levels of the voters. A staggering 78% voters said they were satisfied with the JD(U)-BJP government where only 19% appeared to be dissatisfied. This figure is put in perspective when one measures the satisfaction level for the RJD government, that was thrown off power after Feb 2005. Only 43% respondents had then stated in the affirmative for Laloo-Rabri. A sizable 50% of voters were dissatisfied with the RJD government around last election in Feb 2005, which ended the fifteen years of Lalu regime.

The development agenda of the Nitish government seems to have worked effectively for voters in Bihar. A significant 55% of respondents placed Bihar on the development ladder at medium level and 17% placed it at high level.

The study also suggests the image of Bihar has also improved significantly in Nitish Kumar’s regime. In October 2005 while only 9% placed the State at high level on development ladder 20% had rated the same at medium level. In the 2005 elections, a majority of voters -- around 52% -- had rated Bihar’s development at the bottom level, which has significantly changed this time around.

The study also establishes the voters perceive the election process to be cleaner this time around, with 57% responding in the affirmative stating less electoral malpractices had taken place as compared to earlier elections.

Voters seem convinced with a fair polling process as only 6% respondents stated the electoral malpractices had gone up.

The post poll study has been done by analyzing sample data from the first five phases of a post-poll survey conducted by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi. However, the exact seat projections were done by Professor Rajeeva Karandikar, Professor, Chennai Mathematical Institute for CNN-IBN-The Week.

A total of 4470 persons randomly selected from the latest electoral rolls were interviewed after the polling day in 292 locations spread across 73 randomly selected constituencies in the state. Some data from the fifth phase and all the data from the sixth phase was not available at the time of writing this report. The sample so far comprises 45 percent women, 17 percent Dalits, 18 percent Muslims and 90 percent villagers, which is quite representative of the areas that went to polls in the first five phases. The interviews were conducted face to face at the place of residence of the respondent using a structured questionnaire in the language spoken and understood by the respondent

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