Citing the findings of three surveys, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday claimed it was set to sweep the Delhi Assembly elections scheduled for November.
The party has conducted three surveys so far - in February, August and September. These were conducted by Sisro Associates, a private agency, with technical assistance from AAP leader and election analyst Yogendra Yadav. The third survey, still underway, has a sample of 35,000 people. Findings from 22 constituencies covering about 10,000 people show the AAP's vote share is 32 per cent; those of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party stand at 24 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively.
For the AAP, this marks a rise from the 27 per cent vote share it recorded in the survey in August (3,500 people). The survey in August showed BJP had a vote share of 31 per cent and the Congress 26 per cent.
In the February survey, AAP had secured a vote share of 14 per cent, while the Congress and the BJP had recorded 35 per cent each.
Yadav said any party that had a six per cent lead over the second party was sure to get absolute majority.
To ensure transparency, the AAP has put all the raw survey data in the public domain. "No one would believe when we say a new party like AAP is sweeping elections. So, we thought the best thing to do was to release the entire survey data, including the interviews with each unit," Yadav said.
Of those surveyed, 41 per cent, both in the August and the ongoing survey, said they would choose AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal for the post of chief minister, against the BJP's Vijay Goel and Sheila Dikshit of the Congress. While 14 per cent supported Vijay Goel in August, the number rose to 20 per cent in the current survey. For Dikshit, the support rose from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
AAP leaders admitted there was a gap between AAP's vote share (32 per cent) and the number of those who wanted Kejriwal as chief minister (41 per cent). "Our challenge is to convert this support to votes so that the vote share also goes up to the same level," Yadav said.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Kejriwal said the underlying sentiment behind the sympathy for AAP was the disgust among the masses towards the political class. "For the first time, people feel there is an alternative," he said.
Yadav said earlier, this sort of reception for a new party had only been seen in the case of the Asom Gana Parishad and the Telugu Desam Party.
On the New Delhi constituency from which Kejriwal would contest against Sheila Dikshit, AAP leaders said the survey showed the same trends there, too. Kejriwal said the constituency had 30,000 families, adding 12,000 of the 23,600 accessed so far had given donations to the AAP, indicating their votes were assured. He added in the last election, Sheila Dikshit had won the seat by only 35,000 votes.
He ruled out any coalition in the event of a hung Assembly, saying that would amount to betraying the people's trust.