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INDONESIA POLLS: 41% of Indonesian voters still undecided on candidates

Publication Date : 14-05-2014


A public opinion poll conducted by the Jakarta-based Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) has found that the majority of respondents were  undecided about who to vote for in the July 9 presidential election.

The LSI survey, conducted between May 1 and 9 in 33 provinces, found that around 41 per cent of the 2,400 respondents would not commit to a decision, whether the presidential election be a two- or three-horse race.

The results, which were published Tuesday, were much higher than that of the 2009 election, when less than 20 per cent of voters had no discernible preference.

According to the survey, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo would either be paired with Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Abraham Samad or former vice president Jusuf Kalla, while Gerindra Party chief patron Prabowo Subianto was paired with National Awakening Party (PAN) chairman Hatta Rajasa.

With Jokowi-Kalla and Prabowo-Hatta, 35.91 per cent of respondents chose the former if the presidential election was held in May, while 41.76 per cent remained undecided.

In a scenario where Jokowi was paired with Samad, Jokowi’s ratings increased slightly; garnering 36.05 per cent. Even so, the number of swing voters remained high at 41.69 per cent.

A third pairing was proposed by the LSI, with Golkar Party’s Sultan Hamengkubuwono X touted as a presidential candidate alongside former trade minister Gita Wirjawan, who is speculated to win the Democratic Party convention, thus, poised for the vice presidential ticket.

LSI researchers took into account the possibility that Golkar and the Democratic Party could jointly form their own axis.

In a three-way contest, Jokowi-Samad would receive 26.21 per cent of the vote, followed by Prabowo-Hatta (17.76 per cent) and Hamengkubuwono-Gita (14.82 per cent).

When Jokowi was paired with Kalla, their electability decreased slightly to 25.32 per cent, while Prabowo-Hatta gained 18.14 per cent and Hamengkubuwono-Gita 16.02 per cent.

“Samad is more preferable to Kalla as he is seen to have a clean track record,” LSI researcher Dewi Arum said.

Dewi said the pairing options offered in the questionnaire were based on media reports.

Despite all the scenarios suggesting a high preference for Jokowi, the swing voters would be the deal breakers.

LSI researcher Adjie Alfaraby said that the large number of floating voters meant that the hopefuls would have an equal chance in their race for the presidency.

Adjie argued that the reason for such a high number of floating voters had a lot to do with negative campaigns on the electability of each candidate.

He also attributed the spike in the swing voters to the growing public distrust in parties, with only 32.8 per cent of respondents still placing faith in them.

The survey broke down the number of swing voters according to gender, age, environment, faith and ethnic group.

In regards to religious background, around 49.8 per cent of Muslim respondents had no clue as to their preference, citing a lack of choices representing Islamic values.

The survey revealed that 47.6 per cent of swing voters were women, while 52.3 per cent lived outside the cities.

It also pointed out that floating voters spread across all age groups. Only respondents aged over 50 had made definite candidate choice decisions.

As many as 71.5 per cent of respondents demanded presidential candidates inform the public of their programs.

Around 58.53 per cent of respondents said they believed that programs related to the protection of values on diversity should be a top priority for candidates, while as many as 73.51 per cent demanded corruption eradication progress.

On the economic front, 63.24 per cent of respondents thought that improving conditions relevant to a conducive environment for business was important.

According to the General Elections Commission (KPU), a total of 124.9 million valid votes were cast in the April 9 legislative election, from 185 million eligible voters nationwide.


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