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9 June, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 June, 2017 01:57:44 AM
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The Independent-RDC Public Opinion Survey

Majority support for AL, Sheikh Hasina

Staff Reporter
Majority support for AL, Sheikh Hasina

A majority of Bangladeshis are satisfied with the situation in their lives and are optimistic about the country’s progress, according to a recent opinion poll commissioned by The Independent and carried out by Research Development Centre (RDC) in the first quarter of 2017.
The participants in the poll also expressed greater approval ratings for Bangladesh Awami League (AL) and its President Sheikh Hasina compared to Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
The survey was carried out in March 2017 via telephone-interview of 1,005 adult people. A total of 1,005 households were sampled from RDC’s telephone bank of approximately 25,000 numbers obtained from previous surveys. The accuracy is plus/minus 3.5 per cent. [i.e. there is a 95 per cent chance that the true value is in the range plus/minus 3.5 per cent of the reported value.]     
Greater Satisfaction and Optimism    
64 per cent of the respondents feel that they have made progress in their lives, compared to 24.5 per cent who feel that their lives have not progressed. 11.4 per cent respondents feel that their position has remained unchanged.
In responding to the query as to whether their family’s financial position has improved, 54.5 per cent believe it has, compared to 25.5 per cent who answered in the negative. 19.9 per cent respondents feel that their family’s financial position has remained the same as
before.  63 per cent respondents feel that their family’s physical security has improved, compared to 16.9 per cent who do not feel that there has been any improvement in this regard. 20 per cent answered that the state of physical security of their families is the same as before.    
68.6 per cent respondents think the country is moving in the right direction. 13.7 per cent of the respondents do not think that the country is moving in the right direction. 10.3 per cent respondents did not know the answer to the question, while 7.4 per cent refrained from answering.     
Greater Approval for Awami League
When asked about their opinion of the AL, 56.9 per cent responded that they have a ‘good’ opinion about the party. In contrast, only 18.5 per cent expressed a ‘good’ opinion about BNP. 15 per cent respondents expressed a ‘good’ opinion about Jatiya Party (JP).
Only 2.6 per cent of the respondents expressed a ‘bad’ opinion about the AL. In comparison, 44.1 per cent of the respondents held a ‘bad’ opinion about BNP, while 25.4 per cent of the respondents expressed their negative opinion about the JP.  
25.6 per cent of the respondents expressed an ‘acceptable’ opinion of the AL, compared to 44.1 per cent for the BNP, and 20.7 per cent of the JP. Some respondents either ‘did not know’ or ‘refused’ to express their opinion about the political parties. For the AL, that number was 15 per cent, 22 per cent for BNP, and 38.9 per cent for JP.
When asked who they would vote for, if elections were held on that day, 36.1 per cent respondents said they would vote for AL. In contrast, only 3.5 per cent responded that they would vote for BNP. The numbers for JP and Jamaat-e-Islami are 1.2 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.
These numbers regarding the AL and BNP are quite close to the last similar opinion poll carried out by the Washington-based Democracy International in October 2016, in which 38 per cent respondents said they would vote for the AL while only 5 per cent stated that they would vote for BNP. Regarding the sliding numbers for BNP, when asked for comments, political analysts stated that the reasons may include the record of governance in 2001-06, helping Jamaat-e-Islami
attempt to block the war crimes trials, and especially the street violence on civilians centering the 2014 elections and the following year in 2015.       
49.7 per cent of the respondents remain undecided, while 7.5 per cent refused to say who they would vote for. Interestingly, 1 per cent respondents said they would not vote at all. It is to be noted that the rise in the number of undecided voters correspond with the decline in the support for BNP. While the stated electoral support for AL has remained more or less same, there has been decline in the support for BNP, as apparent from this and other similar previous polls. This might indicate that people who would have otherwise voted for BNP in the past are now undecided on their choice.      
AL More Popular Among Youths Than BNP
Support for AL over BNP is also strong among the youths of Bangladesh. When asked about their opinions about the party, 55.4 per cent of the respondents aged 18-29 said they had a ‘good’ opinion of AL, compared to 20.8 per cent for BNP. Only 2.5 per cent respondents in this age group has a ‘bad’ opinion of the AL, compared to 13.8 per cent for BNP. Regarding who they would vote, 35.8 per cent youths respondents mentioned support for the AL, compared to only 3.4 per cent for BNP.
Greater Favourability of Sheikh Hasina         
The poll shows Sheikh Hasina to be clearly more popular than her rival Khaleda Zia. 72.3 per cent respondents have a ‘good’ opinion about Sheikh Hasina running the country. In contrast, only 26.6 per cent respondents have a good opinion about Khaleda Zia running the country.
Only 2 per cent of the respondents expressed a ‘bad’ opinion about Sheikh Hasina running the country, while the percentage is 13.6 in case of Khaleda Zia running the country.
Sheikh Hasina is also more popular among youth voters than Khaleda Zia. 71 per cent of the respondents aged 18-29 have a ‘good’ opinion about Sheikh Hasina running the country, compared to 23.1 per cent for Khaleda Zia. By the same token, only 2.8 per cent of the youths have a ‘bad’ opinion of Sheikh Hasina, compared to 10.8 per cent for Khaleda Zia.  
Communications Tops Concerns
When asked what are the two most important problems for the society, communications (roads, traffic jams, lack of passenger sheds) came first with 48.3 per cent of the respondents putting it as to the main problem for the society. High electricity/gas price came second having been mentioned by 41.7 per cent of the respondents. These were followed by drug addiction, lack of drinking water, and erosion of moral values, having been identified by 13.2 per cent, 12.8 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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