Predicting The Election

Faiyaz Al Zamal

Faiyaz Al Zamal

vote-swing1
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The 9th general election of Bangladesh is knocking on the door. Within a few hours 80 million Bangladeshi voters will go into the polls. To be a winner, either a single party or a coalition of parties will need at least 151 of the 300 parliament seats.

We have seen some professional opinion polls in recent times in Bangladesh. In November the first Daily Star- Nielsen Opinion poll was published. Some salient points:

* It reveals there is every possibility that about 37 percent of the voters will swing, with 14 percent already determined that they will not vote for the party they chose in last election and 23 percent have not decided which party to vote for, meaning they could go either way.

* The parties have 40 percent of the voters as their solid support base who said they would vote for the same party as in last election.


In December 25, 2008 the second Daily Star- Nielsen Opinion poll was published. It revealed that the political parties are going to face more conscious voters this time and they hold strong opinions about the way the main two parties behave:

* 77 percent are satisfied with the role of the caretaker government

* A large portion of the respondents felt the parties did not nominate competent candidates. To a question which party nominated more competent candidates, 54 percent of the respondents said they think AL has nominated more competent candidates than BNP while 26 percent think BNP has nominated more competent persons than its archrival.

* On manifestos – 53 percent voted for AL while 25 percent for BNP. JP, Jamaat and other parties combined could get only 2 percent votes each.

* 61 percent said honesty of candidates would influence their voting decision most and 31 percent said they would look into the candidates’ educational qualification. The survey shows 18 percent of the respondents said they would look for dedicated party candidates to vote.

With all these factors it becomes difficult to predict the election results. This time around a lot of additional factors are working. The new demarcation of constituency will play a role. Multiple candidates from the same alliance, rebel leaders of both AL & BNP and bad candidate choice of AL can make a difference of 10-30 seats which may turn out to be very significant in terms of election outcome. However it has been observed in Bangladesh in last two elections that the opposition bench in the immediate past parliament has emerged as winners.

I have analyzed the phenomenon of swing voters basing on the results of the 2001 elections to predict the outcomes of 2008 election results. The factors considered in the analysis are, i) % of vote swing from 4 party alliance to grand alliance, ii) Voting pattern of the new voters (about 30 % of the total voters), iii) Loyality of JP supporters towards the grand alliance, iv) The effect of ‘NO’ vote on the new voters.

no-vote-swing
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The factors of the above scenarios:

a) No vote swing from 14 party to 4 party, 90% of JP voters go for Mohajote, 10 % opt for 4 party. No change in the new voter voting pattern.
b) No vote swing (as above) However, among the new voters, 50 % go for Al led mohajote, and 40 % vote for 4 Party.
c) No vote swing from 14 party to 4 party, 60% of JP voters go for Mohajote, 40% opt for 4 party.

But if we put the vote swing factors in effect we can see these predictions emerging:

vote-swing1
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The factors of the above scenarios are:

d) 5% vote swing from 14 party to 4 party, 90% of JP voters go for Mohajote, 10 % opt for 4 party. No change in the new voter voting pattern.
e) 5% swing from 14 party to 4 party, 90% of JP voters go for Mohajote, 10 % opt for 4 party. However, among the new voters, 50 % go for Al led mohajote, and 40 % vote for 4 Party.
f) 5% swing from 14 party to 4 party, 60% of JP voters go for Mohajote, 40 % opt for 4 party (Unloyal JP supporter factor). 50 % of the new voters go for AL, 40 % for BNP led alliance
g) 5% swing from 14 party to 4 party, 60% of JP voters go for Mohajote, 40 % opt for 4 party (Unloyal JP supporter factor). 30% of the new voters go for AL, 25 % for BNP led alliance, assuming widespread no votes.
h) 2% swing from 14 party to 4 party, 60% of JP voters go for Mohajote, 40 % opt for 4 party (Unloyal JP supporter factor). 30% of the new voters go for AL, 25 % for BNP led alliance, assuming widespread no votes.

To me the most likely scenario would be either options e) or option f).


202 Responses to “Predicting The Election”

  1. Shodeshi

    No true democracy thats yet to come for Bangladesh.
    Our top political leaders and their partymen dont believe in Democratically elected leaders

    as Hasina and Khaleda is leading the top seat for over 2 decades, This is rare in this

    current world even for a autocratic military ruler.

    They are true autocrats in disguise of democrats.

  2. Asif Kabir

    great work Mr. Faiyaz….whoever will win I hope they will work to build our sonar bangladesh…

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