The BJP is pumping on all cylinders now a week away from the 2015 Delhi Legislative Elections date of February 7. The question is how much has the late entry cost the party that also holds power at the Centre.
Polling agency CVoter Managing Editor Yashwant Deshmukh says the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has put in an admirable show in Delhi despite the negative fallout of it's premature withdrawal from Government early last year.
"It's down to the finish line and the last over. It's a very keen contest where BJP has a slight edge," Mr Deshmukh said on the 2015 Delhi Election Tracker, a joint effort between CVoter & BoomLive.
Seat share projections hand the contest to the BJP but it might not be a cake walk either. For the fourth week of January, the BJP is seen at 37 seats while the AAP is seen at 28. Strong but not enough perhaps. And by all accounts, AAP is putting up a strong fight on ground, where it has always been strong. The BJP has fought the top-down battle but seemingly lost its nerve towards the end and appointed Kiran Bedi as it's Chief Minister (CM) candidate.
On the question of who they will vote for if elections were to be held today in the capital city; vote share projections place BJP at 45% and AAP a close second at 40%. For AAP this is encouraging given that it has sustained the nomination of Kiran Bedi as the Chief Ministerial nominee. The BJP until two weeks ago was fighting without a face while AAP has had Arvind Kejriwal consistently fronting for them.
AAP's figures also seem to suggest that the first round of rallies by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of BJP in Delhi have not made much of a dent. AAP's share stood at 40% in the first week of January, dipped to 38% in the second week and is now back at 40%.
If you look at the vote swing, then BJP is at 12% while AAP is at 11%. From all accounts, the Congress party is not a major player in these elections, though recent CVoter surveys have suggested that the AAP and Congress usually exchange shares, if one gains the other loses and vice a versa.
The other question we are asking is how do voters compare between Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal as a CM candidate. The figures are interesting. Bedi does have a lead but it is not much. For January 2014, the figure stands at 50% for Kiran Bedi and 47% for Kejriwal. The figures actually swing sharply if you split this into gender as Bedi clearly dominates the female voter sympathy, or potential female voters.
Finally, like all elections, it would depend who turns up at the booths and in how many numbers. Perhaps this time we are clearer about who we are looking out for.