Opinion Poll: How Modi, jobs and inflation will be the key factors for 2024 – Firstpost

Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, News18 has conducted a mega opinion poll and the results are in. The survey reveals that a whopping 80 per cent of respondents are ‘somewhat to very satisfied’ with the ruling government and PM Modi. What else does the poll reveal?
We are a few months away from the Lok Sabha elections and election fever is peaking. All political parties are gearing up for the maha battle with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) even issuing its slogan — ‘Teesri baar Modi Sarkar, ab ki baar 400 paar’.
Ahead of the 2024 polls, News18 has carried out a ‘survey of surveys’ to gauge the mood of the people and the events that are most likely to influence voters ahead of the polls.
What are the key takeaways from News18’s mega opinion poll? How do voters view PM Modi vis-à-vis Rahul Gandhi and other Opposition leaders? What will be the most significant issue that voters consider while casting their ballot at the polls?
We present the biggest takeaways from the mega opinion poll and what it could mean for the 2024 elections.
Modi remains the man to beat
It appears that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP will win a third term in office as majority respondents are happy with the ruling party’s performance. On being asked how satisfied they are with the BJP and PM Modi’s performance in the past five years, a resounding 80 per cent of the people surveyed said they were ‘somewhat to very satisfied’.
And the opinion poll shows that Modi is a favourite of the youngsters of India. People between the age group of 18-25 and 26-35 are very pleased with the PM, receiving a score of 80 and 82 respectively among the age groups.
While only five per cent of people surveyed said they were somewhat dissatisfied with the PM, a meagre four per cent said they were very dissatisfied.
When the survey further asked ‘who you trust the most to make your life better’, most people gave a thumbs-up to Modi. The PM received 59 per cent of the votes, while Congress’ Rahul Gandhi only received 21 per cent of the votes.
Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee both received 9 per cent of the votes.
Modi, a leader’s leader
But what makes Narendra Modi the preferred prime ministerial candidate? As per the News18 mega opinion poll, his management of issues and his personal characteristics of being hard working and honest are his biggest advantages.
On leadership qualities, Modi scored a big win over Rahul Gandhi. A whopping 73 per cent of people polled said they found the PM to be honest. Similarly, 69 per cent said that he was hard-working. Seventy-one per cent also believed that PM Modi cares about people like themselves, showing he had a big mass connect. And 67 per cent believed him to be a strong leader.
Compare this to Rahul Gandhi. On honesty, 27 per cent found the Congress leader to be more honest, while 31 per cent said that he was more hard-working. On having a mass connection, Rahul is yet to prove himself, with only 29 per cent believing him be one with the public.
PM Modi also remains a cut above the rest when it comes to handling issues and has the trust of the people.
He scored a high of 58 on the matter of increasing employment opportunities. Even on the issue of controlling inflation, he gained a score of 59, which is way above what Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee or Arvind Kejriwal scored.
Another significant issue where he scored high was improving communal harmony in the country; he gained a score of 60, despite the Opposition’s rhetoric that the BJP and the PM had polarised people, and propagated religious hate among communities through measures such as the newly-implemented Citizenship Amendment Act   (CAA).
PM Modi has also been praised for his statesman-like features, building better ties with other countries even amid the two wars — the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas war. He received a score of 61 on the issue of relations with foreign countries .
Economics of India
The News18 mega poll also asked people what they felt about their opinion on the economic status of the country. A decisive 67 per cent of people polled said that their economic status had improved in the past five years. Only seven per cent said that their economic condition had deteriorated.
There’s also a growing hope amongst the people about their economic conditions in the near future. When asked if they think their financial conditions would improve in the next year, 72 per cent said they were optimistic of a better financial future, while only five per cent said it would become worse.
Ram Mandir and other social issues
Besides the financial future of the public, the News18 mega opinion poll also focused on other social issues, namely the construction of the Ram Mandir in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya and the Women’s Reservation Bill.
On the construction of the Ram Mandir , which was inaugurated by PM Modi on 22 January in a grand event, 64 per cent said that it was a symbol of national pride and unity.
The mega opinion poll also sought the opinion of the public on the recently-passed Women’s Reservation Bill , under which 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies would be reserved for women. On this subject, 68 per cent people said that they supported the legislation while 20 per cent opposed it. Twelve per cent of people said they were unable to give a definite answer.
On the matter of caste-based quotas in government jobs and educational institutions, the News18 mega opinion poll revealed that 48 per cent believed that the quota was too little and it should be increased. On the other hand, 21 per cent said that it was far too much while another 15 per cent called for a total abolition of caste-based quotas. There was also a 12 per cent of people who said that reservations should be made on the basis of economic status and not castes.
Modi Sarkar and his schemes
As prime minister Narendra Modi has unveiled several welfare schemes to improve the lives of Indians. But how does the public view them?
As per the News18 opinion poll, the Ujwala Yojana scheme, which provides gas cylinders to women belonging to rural and deprived households, is the most popular with 61 per cent saying they are aware of it. This is followed by the Har Ghar Jal scheme and the PM Awas Yojana.
The Centre vs states
The survey has also sought people’s opinion on their respective state governments’ performance. While 43 per cent said they were very satisfied, 26 per cent expressed somewhat satisfaction.
In the BJP-ruled state of Uttar Pradesh, a whopping 64 per cent were very satisfied with the government. However, this number nose-dived in Maharashtra, which is currently being governed by Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde with BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis as deputy chief minister.
There’s also some bad news for AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal as only 22 per cent of people in Delhi were satisfied with the governance in the Capital.
One crucial question in the survey clearly showed that Modi was the driving factor behind BJP’s success in the polls. When asked if one would vote for BJP regardless of who the candidate in the constituency was, a whopping 85 per cent said yes. This is a clear indicator that the Modi factor still exists and, in fact, is what pushes the BJP over the winning line.
Opposition’s position
But what about the Opposition? When asked about the INDIA alliance , 56 per cent of people said they were aware of the bloc, while 22 still remained unaware of the grouping.
The INDIA bloc is a grouping of 26 opposition parties, namely the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham and the Communist Party of India(Marxist). Initially, the Janata Dal United (JD{U}) was also a part of the grouping but dropped out when Nitish Kumar switched sides to the BJP and returned to the NDA fold.
Moreover, the prominent leaders of the INDIA bloc, Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal are far less popular with the people.
Key issues to influence voters
The survey has also thrown light on the key issues that people think of before exercising their fundamental duty of voting. According to the News18 survey, jobs and job creation is the most important factor with 56 per cent saying that they would base their vote on this aspect. In fact, when looked at even closer, it is revealed that 57 per cent of the rural voter views job creation as the most important matter.
The next most important issue for voters is inflation; 47 per cent people said they would vote for a party solely based on this topic.
This was followed by law and order (46 per cent), corruption (31 per cent) and religion at 26 per cent.
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