‘Earliest possible’ election on people’s minds

According to DT opinion poll, a significant majority believes free and fair election possible under all-party arrangements

A significant majority of the respondents of a Dhaka Tribune opinion poll want a fresh parliamentary election “as earliest possible.”

The opinion poll was conducted from January 14-16 and February 4-6 by research organisation Innovative Research and Consultancy Limited (IRC).

When asked whether the current government should hold a new election before the end of its term, 72% replied in the positive, with nearly 57% saying “as earliest possible.”

However, when asked whether they were satisfied with the January 5 election, only a touch over half of the respondents replied in the negative with 41% saying they were “very dissatisfied.” However, 42% respondents said they were satisfied with the January 5 election.

Around 49% of the people surveyed said hartal, blockade and violence should be immediately stopped.

Interestingly, just some of the recent surveys, the ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP commanded almost equal popular support in this Dhaka Tribune opinion poll as well – 35.6% said they would vote for the Awami League if there was an election right now while 34.8% said they would choose the BNP.

Nearly one-fourth of the respondents either said they were undecided who to vote for (14.5%) or did not wish to disclose their choice (8.9%).

This is the second Dhaka Tribune-commissioned opinion poll conducted in about one and a half month period.

According to the first poll, conducted from December 14-22 last year that is before the 10th general election, 77% said the January 5 polls without the BNP would not be acceptable.

According to the latest poll, although 63.2% of the respondents believe that the caretaker government is the best authority for conducting election, about 56.1% said free and fair election was also possible under “all-party” arrangements.

Nearly half of the respondents believe that BNP should cater to the Awami League’s demand for cutting ties with Jamaat before going into a dialogue. A touch above one-third said they disagreed with the idea.

IRC interviewed 600 male and female adults over telephone. The respondents were selected randomly from a computer generated list with a 4% margin of error.

Nearly half of the people interviewed rated confrontational politics in the form of hartal, blockade and violence as the biggest issue for the country right now. On the other hand, around 41% said “holding free-fair election” was the most important issue.

More than three-fourth (78%) of the respondents rejected the idea that BNP should continue hartal and blockades as means of staging political protests in favour of their demand for a free, fair and credible national election.

Source: Dhaka Tribune