BJP should take CSDS opinion poll very seriously

Folks, let me start with my own “back of the envelope” calculation for Uttar Pradesh. Let me tell you where I think the SP’s vote share will end up. In 2012, they got a share of 29.5%. At least traditional wisdom says that it is near impossible for an incumbent party to increase vote share in a state. You might ask : what about the much beloved “Brand Akhilesh”, the current toast of Lutyens’ Delhi?

Well, let me remind you that “Brand Akhilesh” is a mere 6 month phenomenon, perhaps even less. Compare it to “Brand Modi” that was built in Gujarat over a decade. Compare it to “Brand Nitish” in Bihar. In Bihar, Nitish Kumar is literally known as the man who singlehandedly saved an entire state from the depths of ruin. And yet, the BJP actually lost vote share in Gujarat in every election : in 2002, in 2007 and in 2012. And again remember that Nitish Kumar’s JDU actually won less seats than RJD in Bihar.

This is not to say that branding doesn’t work. I am a huge believer in the theory of “Jo dikhta hai wahi bikta hai” (only the visible stuff sells). I think that branding brings in the crucial 2-3% of swing vote that makes the difference between victory and defeat. Branding can prevent erosion of votes for the incumbent. Branding is crucial. But branding only works if you have your core voters and your party is behind you.

So, my calculation says that the SP’s vote is capped at 30%… any gains of 2-3% max due to branding of Akhilesh will be nullified by the internal sabotage. A lot of elements in SP are working hard to make sure he loses this election. These are the people who can hurt him at the booth worker level. These are the people who can make sure the SP looks just weak enough for some confused M vote to go to BSP in key areas.

Meanwhile, the BJP which begins from a high of 43% in the Lok Sabha election, should not fall below 33%. If these leads are concentrated in Eastern and Western UP (which together account for 300 out of the 400 seats), BJP should be home safe and dry.

However, I will confess to surprise and deep worry over the results of the CSDS poll released yesterday.


This is bad news. And don’t be fooled by the hung assembly type scenario shown here. The election started out as a 3-way race between BSP, SP and BJP (with Congress participating for entertainment purposes only). It is now a 2-way race between BJP and SP. The final result will be a landslide in favor of one of these two.

It is most important to compare this CSDS survey to their previous one, conducted in August 2016. I seemed to remember CSDS showing BSP ahead in Aug 2016, but when I checked, it seems my memory was playing tricks on me. Here are the CSDS numbers from Aug 2016.


So, according to CSDS, in the last 5 months, BSP has collapsed (as expected) while BJP and SP are practically in the same position. Not much information really.

Let us come to the most important finding in the CSDS poll:


If true, this is a devastating finding for BJP. The party could be 5% behind in its stronghold of Eastern UP. That’s the den of Yogi Adityanath. That’s the catchment area of the Prime Minister’s own Varanasi. The PM has also delivered tangibly to this area, reopening the fertilizer factory and establishing AIIMS. Then the rail bridge for Ghazipur. A deficit of 5% in this area is nothing short of shocking.

This deficit can mean one of two things : either BJP is paying a price for ignoring Yogi Adityanath, or Yogi Adityanath is playing some kind of a game with BJP’s prospects in this area. Of course, a third possibility is that the poll simply went wrong in this area.

Equally surprising (although this time in a good way) is the finding in Western UP:


Really? It is not surprising to see BJP ahead in Western UP. But is it really ahead by a staggering 21%? At 5% lead, parties win 55-60% of seats. At 10% lead, they tend to win close to 75% of seats in an area. At 21% lead, there is no upper limit : as it stands CSDS should award every single seat in Western Uttar Pradesh to BJP.

This alone should give the BJP 130 seats from Western Uttar Pradesh. Now, the total that CSDS projects for BJP is 129-139… that means just around 9-19 seats for BJP in the 250+ remaining seats. Really? I have to say the vote/seat conversion done by CSDS puzzles me.

That said, every survey has some unexplained/puzzling data points if you look hard enough. It is not nearly enough to trash a survey, let alone a survey done by the highly respectable CSDS.

For me, even more interesting are the tweets from CSDS’ Sanjay Kumar last night immediately after the opinion poll went on air.


What Sanjay Kumar is indicating here is very important. As I mentioned in my “back of the envelope calculation” earlier in the post, the SP’s vote is capped at 30%. Incidentally, this is the same vote share that CSDS is projecting. Even a small split in these votes and Akhilesh Yadav is losing for sure. At the moment, there are many in Yadav parivar looking to drown Akhilesh and my hunch is that (it’s only a hunch…I said earlier I don’t know!) that BJP has a deal with these elements. BJP should work on this divide. It may be the difference between victory and defeat.

At the same time, BJP has to keep an eye out for BSP. By now, everyone (including me) thinks they are out of the race. Mayawati has probably been destroyed by the rigidity of her electoral vision (Zero branding…focus purely on caste). But there are many slips between the cup and the lip. For the BJP, the No. 1 priority is to make sure BSP closes down…which is certain if they lose this election. Once BSP closes down, the Dalit vote in UP and the Dalit narrative in the whole of India is available to BJP for the taking.  And you can never lose sight of Priority No. 1.

22 thoughts on “BJP should take CSDS opinion poll very seriously

    1. Yes.. actually due to I was also confident for UP but now after this I am fear that there should not Bihar like Disaster in UP.. but any way hope for Good… for UP..


    2. Yeah,i am also inclined to believe 5Fourty3 more,but this poll is definitely troubling.

      But well,it’s only a month from now and i think the circumstances this time around make the poll really unpredictable


  1. CW your analysis is compelling but i always find UP elections tottering on border of uncertainty. To be frank the SP drama of splitting looked more like an attempt to project BJP as a disruptive force which wants to derail SP and use this as a conspiracy theory to woe voters. Mayawati is shamelessly doing what she has been doing all along albeit more so openly now. M votes are pretty much looking at trifecta between BSP, SP A and SP M. How that is getting distributed is not clear either? Interestingly, no one is asking for a report on Akhilesh governance report of 5 years which is asked only from incumbent BJP states.

    Meanwhile coming to congress which to put an analogy is like Afghanistan playing in cricket World Cup. And even more astonishing is R Surjewaala’s delusion/mental state/parallel reality/ type of pot he is smoking where in congress emerges as the single largest party in UP as per his byte to Zee news today. Congress currently has governments in 4 states and 1 UT. Congress mukt bharat is real and feasible. 🙂


    1. Yes.. Congress mukt bharat is real and feasible as Congress is about to lose Karnataka for Sure as most unpopular govt and CM is in Karnataka..and as Per CW analsys Congress may loose Uttarkahanda and Manipur also.. hopefully you we can see Congress Govt reduce from 4 states and 1 UT to 2 state 1 UT and hope fully Punjab will be hung assembly…
      Hey CW what you think here ..does it looks like possible …?


  2. what do u imply by Yogi Adityanath playing games? Do you think everyone is a personal servant of the Teresa cheer girl? Let Maa Ganga reward him for singing christmas carols.
    Everyone knows what the Yogi stands for. If he is sitting at home, that’s because he has no reason to jump around. Everyone has been sidelined by these 3 fellows in BJP. BJP win does not make any difference to Hindus.


    1. That’s pretty hateful according to you,being a Hindu party means acting like Abrahamical religion bigots and hating on everything christian and Muslim?

      Right wingers like you only want to ape other religion’s idiots


      1. Lol. Go and start a Sharia bank branch in Bengal with Modi where Muslims looted and killed Hindus for days.
        Your definition of hateful seems to be coming out of Burkha Dutt dictionary. Read CW’s post on what happened in Bengal and my earlier to link it.


        1. so because of Bengal one should not say anything else other than abuse for teresa or any other figure?or that the RBI should completely lose it’s independence and become a pawn of the executive?the sharia banking was a proposal by the RBI ,which was rejected summarily.

          My definition of hateful is what is hateful.Acting like other idiot religions is what a lot of Right-wingers tend to do,acting like the same people they despise.

          Sure,there are many criticisms that you can level,especially in cases like Bengal where situation is pretty bad.But bringing up useless things like Mother Teresa or sharia banking,where you just want to blindly hate on Muslims and Chrsitians and want BJP to follow you,is senseless.

          But do what you want,you just want to ape other religions anyway without understanding your own


          1. stop braying like a donkey. derascinated Hindus like you are a bigger problem for Hindus. there are 3 articles at least on teresa on this webstie. the most vicious cobnversion agent. if u r not a hindu say so. dont blabber inanities. Sharia banking proposal has been put by RBI multiple times. Modi and his team wanted to implement it. to kiss ass of muslims. its RSS and coutnless people like me who made noise that that fraud backed of.

            ur continueous use of blind hate shows that u r a liberal moron. like i said. stick to teresa carols. if u can be happy about a conversion agent, then u r a liberal fruitcake.


            1. LOL i don’t have to give a certificate of my religion to you.And look at your own words when accusing me of having “blind hate”.

              I am not happy about Mother Teresa.In fact,i don’t give a shit about her.I have read some of the theories about her.The worst I hear about her is that she was not secular,and converted people(Gasp!So shocking).She may have done more stuff,but like i said i don’t really care about her and you can abuse her all you want.But you somehow taking Modi praising her as him being sickular and getting on his back for such useless stuff is what i have a problem with.And what’s the problem with considering “sharia banking”?They didn’t decide to adopt it,did they?

              I mean,just look at your words accusing me of “braying like a donkey”.How the hell are you different from a peaceful or creationist?I repeat,you are acting like abrahamical religions.


  3. They say some ninety percent of SP supporters support Akhilesh and ten percent support Mulayam Singh. Now we are talking about one hundred percent who definitely would have voted for SP candidates, but this time the ten percent of SP voters are very angry with Akhilesh faction. My feeling is this ten percent may want to hurt Akhilesh faction not just by not voting for SP, but even by voting for arch rival BJP. More over, Narendra Modi is just starting his rallies in UP. More rallies will help BJP.


  4. India Today predicts BJP victory in UP.

    We need to re-assess Rajdeep; it takes a great heart to openly promulgate the humiliation of the entire dynastic ecosystem to their born enemy!


    1. I think it is more likely that Rajdeep’s influence in India Today is receding,keeping in mind recent events.The recent stings by India Today,the “expose” on Agusta and even reporting on the Dhaulagarh riots that Rajdeep was harassed for,It’s more likely that Rajdeep has to bear this stuff to just keep his job.

      Also,India Today gives BJP vote share at 33%.One problem with APB seems they have not given the overall vote share,but even in the area-wise vote share,they seem comparable to the APB one.1 thing that strikes my mind is that these figures are very similar to the ones given by 5Fourty3 in the poll just before Demonetisation around October,and that both the polls show BSP as a quite behind SP.


      1. if an organisation is not committed right wing, it will become left wing. some theory like this, in an article on Swarajya. India Today or BJP will go through the same.


  5. I do not trust this survey. However, if anybody thinks positively then, biggest outcome is, Akhilesh is talking about development. So, gradually, development is accepted as one of agenda against caste-ism. I am still not convinced that, UP will vote for development, but at least Modi is forcing parties to set development as main agenda. Akhilesh’s new avatar is created by media, and I do not think, it will last long. Even if, BJP loses UP, they have huge chances to repeat 2014 in 2019. Because, SP or BSP if comes to power, they do not have any capability to run government without corruption. Lets hope, the SP drama is still played for another month to confuse Muslims. The media is setting this election as do or die for Modi. But I think this is a do or die election for Mayawati and Mulayam, and not for Modi. For sure, BJP under Modi is forcing parties to fight elections on development. If BJP wins UP, then lets hope that, significance of M votes is reduced. Hope, hindus in UP take a note of what is happening in Bengal.


    1. Yes.. Correct..It is a do or die election for Mayawati and Mulayam not for BJP..if BJP loses in case also BJP will be Victorious as it will be lone opposition and will be more base as campare to 2009 vote as 47 seat BJP always in Good to gain in both scanarios. But you know Lyutean media try to project every election do or die for Modi.. everytime they wanted to test PM Modi credibility..but always PM Modi win this war..


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