NDA unlikely to open account in Kerala, predicts Manorama News-VMR pre-poll survey

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L-R: K K Shailaja is expected to give a fighting chance for the LDF in Vadakara. The survey predicts another win for Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad. NDA's star candidate Rajeev Chandrasekhar is expected to have a slight edge over LDF, but the UDF is likely to win in Thiruvananthapuram. File photos: Manorama/PTI

The BJP-led NDA is unlikely to open its account in the Lok Sabha polls in Kerala, predicts the Manorama News-VMR pre-poll survey. The survey that was released in three phases beginning Wednesday gives a clear edge to the Congress-led UDF, which is expected to win 13 of the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the election slated for April 26.

However, the survey revealed that the poll outcome might be unpredictable in four seats that are witnessing a close contest. Though the UDF has an upper hand in three of the four constituencies, the survey did not rule out the possibility of the LDF pulling out a surprise in those three seats.

Of the survey's total participants, 43.38 per cent said they would back the UDF, while 34.74 per cent said they would vote for the LDF. The NDA received the support of 18.44 per cent of the participants. The NDA has yet to win a Lok Sabha seat in Kerala. Its best performance was winning the Nemom constituency in the 2016 Assembly polls.

The UDF may pin its hopes on Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Alathur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Ponnani, Wayanad and Kasaragod constituencies.

The results of Vadakara, Kannur, Attingal, and Palakkad would be unpredictable due to the fierce battle between the UDF and LDF. The NDA's influence has made the contest a close one in these constituencies.

Though the UDF is ahead in Thrissur, Chalakkudy, and Mavelikara, the survey did not rule out the possibility of surprise wins. The survey also predicted the Twenty20 possibly affecting the UDF's prospects and the NDA denting the LDF vote bank in Chalakkudy.

The UDF has an edge over others in Thrissur. However, other factors are likely to have a say in the poll outcome.

In Mavelikara, the NDA's vote share is likely to decide the winner. Unlike in other constituencies where the LDF may witness a dip in its vote share, the UDF's vote share may decrease in Mavelikara.

More than half of the participants found merit in the money laundering case involving Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's daughter T Veena. They also opined that the Union government was misusing the Enforcement Directorate.

To a specific query on whether the Nava Kerala Sadas, a mass outreach programme of the Kerala government, had benefitted the State, 47.04 per cent of the participants replied in the negative, while 46.2 per cent felt it to be beneficial.

Those who credited the central government for the Women's Reservation Act, 2023, and Vande Bharat semi-high-speed trains, did not view the consecration of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya as the BJP-led NDA government's achievement. As many as 54 per cent refused to credit the Union government for the temple.

A significant number of participants saw the price hike, crisis in the farm sector, communal polarisation, and the Manipur issue as the failure of the central government. A majority of participants (56%) felt that Muslims were denied justice in the Ayodhya issue.
As many as 50.59 per cent felt India was losing its secular character.

While 66 per cent of the participants said they would consider the state government's performance while exercising their franchise, 49 per cent opined that the Centre was causing difficulties to Kerala in financial matters, which was contested by 38 per cent of the participants.

The Opposition's functioning received a thumbs-up from 66 per cent of those who participated in the survey.

The Manorama News-VMR pre-poll survey covered 28,000 people across all the Assembly segments in March. The survey looked at the possible results if the polling was then conducted. The Manorama News-VMR pre-poll survey, "Who will win in 20 seats" is the largest in terms of sample size.

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