CHURUMURI POLL: BJP 31, CONGRESS 26, JDS 9

R. KANNAN and S.S. KARNADSHA write: Voters in 66 constituencies in 10 districts go to the polls tomorrow in the second phase of the elections to the Karnataka Assembly. And churumuri.com is pleased to offer its second, amateur, grassroots survey of how it is likely to turn out for the parties.

Our short term reading: BJP 31, Congress, 26, JDS 9.

Our medium term prediction: It’s going to be a hung assembly.

Like in the first churumuri.com survey (see full methodology below), we travelled to at least one constituency in six of the 10 districts going to the polls tomorrow. For the other districts, we relied on a variety of sources over the telephone, and also took into account media reports.

Unlike other opinion polls and pre-poll surveys, which only give a random seat count, we pinpoint the likely winners in each of the 66 constituencies.

Among our key findings are:

# It is going to be 50-50 for the Congress and the BJP in the communally hot coastal districts despite Narendra Modi‘s campaign, and a CNN-IBN-CSDS-Deccan Herald finding.

# B.S. Yediyurappa looks more likely to overcome S. Bangarappa in the battle of former chief ministers in Shikaripura despite Congress and JDS not putting up candidates.

# M.P. Prakash the former deputy chief minister, who hopped over to the Congress from JDS is likely to be trounced in Harapanahalli.

# Mine baron Anil Lad is unlikely to break the stranglehold of the Reddy brothers in Bellary city despite his jump to the Congress and Diwakar Babu‘s return to the party.

# M.P. Renukacharya is set to return to the assembly from Honnali despite the scandal surrounding his involvement in the nurse Jayalakshmi.

By our reckoning, after the first two phases of polling, the Congress will end up with 67 seats, the BJP with 52, and JDS 30. The half-way mark in the 224-member Karnataka assembly is 114. Which means of the remaining 69 seats in the third and final phase of polling, the Congress will have to bag 47 and the BJP 62 to form a government on their own.

Which also means JDS, which has 30 seats from the first two phases by our count, will again play a very key role in the formation of the next government, as predicted by H.D. Deve Gowda. Either one of the two big parties will have to swallow its pride and tie up with it again, or there will have to be defections en masse from the JDS ranks.

Only Suvarna News (through C-Fore) has conducted an exit poll of the first phase and a pre-poll survey of the second phase. By C-Fore’s reckoning, Congress will end up with between 59-67 seats, BJP 60-66, and JDS 25-31 at the end of the two phases of polling. By that count, Congress have have to bag 47 of the remaining 69, and BJP 44.

Statistically, anything is possible, but how likely?

***

CHITRADURGA: Congress 4, JDS 2

Chitradurga: Congress, G.H. Tippa Reddy
Hosadurga: Congress, B.G. Govindappa
Hiriyur: JDS, D. Yashodhara
Challakere (ST): Congress, Sashikumar
Molkalmuru (ST): JDS, G.M. Tippeswamy
Holalkere (SC): Congress, H Anjaneya

***

BELLARY: Congress 3, BJP 6

Bellary (ST): BJP, B Sriramulu
Hadagali (SC): Congress, P.T. Parameshwara Naik
Hagaribommanahalli (SC): BJP, Nemiraj Naik
Vijayanagar: Congress, H.R. Gaviappa
Sandur (ST): Congress, E. Tukaram
Siraguppa (ST): BJP, M.S. Somalingappa
Bellary city: BJP, G. Somashekara Reddy
Kampli (ST): BJP, T.H. Suresh Babu
Kudligi (ST): BJP, B. Nagendra

***

DAVANAGERE: Congress 3, BJP 5

Jagalur (ST): BJP, H.P. Rajesh
Harapanahalli: BJP, G. Karunakara Reddy
Honnali: BJP, M.P. Renukacharya
Davangere North: BJP, H.A. Ravindranath
Davangere South: Congress, Shamanur Shivashankarappa
Mayakonda (SC): BJP, Basava Raja Naik
Harihar: Congress, Dr. Y. Nagappa
Chennagiri: Congress, Vadnal Rajanna

***

SHIMOGA: Congress 3, BJP 3, JD(S) 1

Shimoga rural (SC): Congress, Kariyanna
Shimoga: BJP, K.S. Eswarappa
Bhadravathi: JDS, Appaji M.J.
Soraba: Congress, Kumar Bangarappa
Tirthahalli: BJP , Araga Gnanedra
Shikaripura : BJP, B.S. Yediyurappa
Sagar: Congress, Kagodu Thimmappa

***

CHIKMAGALUR: BJP 4, JDS 1

Sringeri: BJP, D.N. Jeevaraj
Moodigere (SC): BJP, M.P. Kumaraswamy
Chikmagalur : BJP , C.T. Ravi
Tarikere: JDS, H. Omkarappa
Kadur: BJP, Dr. Vishwanath

***

UTTARA KANNADA: Congress 3; BJP 3

Haliyal: Congress, R.V. Deshpande
Kumta: BJP, Sashibhooshan Hegde
Karwar: Congress, Anand Asnotikar
Bhatkal: Congress, J.D. Naik
Sirsi: BJP, Vishweshwara Hegde
Yellapur: BJP, Veerabhadra Gowda Patil

***

DAKSHINA KANNADA: BJP 4, Congress 3, JDS 1

Belthangady: Congress, Vasanth Bangera
Moodabidiri : JDS, K. Amaranatha Shetty
Mangalore City North: BJP , Krishna Palemar
Mangalore City South: BJP, N. Yogeesh Bhat
Mangalore: Congress, U.T. Khader
Bantwal: BJP, Nagaraja Shetty
Puttur: Congress, Bondala Jaganatha Shetty
Sullia (SC): BJP , S. Angara

***

UDUPI: Congress 2, BJP 3

Baindur: BJP, K. Lakshminarayana
Kundapura: Congress, K. Jayaprakash Hegde
Udupi: BJP, Raghupathi Bhat
Kapu: Congress, Vasanth Saliyan
Karkala: BJP, V. Sunil Kumar

***

RAICHUR: Congress 3, BJP 1, JDS 3

Raichur rural (ST): JDS, Raja Rangappa Naik
Raichur: BJP, A. Papa Reddy
Manvi: Congress (ST), G. Hampaiah
Devdurga (ST): JDS, Shivana Gowda
Maski (ST): Congress, Timappa
Lingasagur (SC): JDS, T.L. Naik
Sindhanur: Congress, Hampanagouda Badarli

***

KOPPAL: Congress 2, BJP 2, JDS 1

Kushtagi: Congress, Amaregouda Byappur
Gangavati: JDS, Iqbal Ansari
Yelaburga: Congress, Basavaraj Rayareddy
Kanakagiri (SC): BJP, Shamanna Hulagappa Narinala
Koppal: BJP, Andanappa Agadi

***

METHODOLOGY: How did we crunch these numbers?

1. We went to at least one constituency in six of the 10 districts.

2. We studied the voting pattern of each constituency since 1978 using Election Commission data.

3. In the case of constituencies that have been newly created or spiked due to delimitation of seats, we have examined the chunks that have moved or have been clubbed together.

4. We have looked at each contesting candidate and have drawn a winnability graph keeping local factors in mind. Aspects like personal charisma, nurturing constituency with development projects, and also party-hopping have been factored in.

5. We have cross-checked our lists with strategists of all major political parties. We have discounted their claims when they have been bombastic and accommodated them when they have been realistic.

6. We have studied the percentage of votes polled by each party and the victory margins of all seats in the 2004 election. We have given the benefit of doubt to the runner up in 2004 elections if he has lost by a thin margin and is contesting again. In some cases it is the runner up political party that gets this advantage although they have changed the candidate.

7. Due to the strict EC poll code we have given very little chance to new faces and parties entering a constituency for the first time. We believe that the process of new faces or new parties getting registered in the minds of voters has not happened.

8. We have checked the BSP factor by looking at their presence and performance in all constituencies in the 2004 elections.

9. Although there is a close contest in some constituencies we stick our head out and give only name per constituency.

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Congress 41, BJP 21, JDS 21