What Voters want and how they rate Government Performance
Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) conducted a survey in all Parliamentary constituencies of Madhya Pradesh during the period of August to November 2018, covering over 15,000 respondents. This report presents the key findings of the Survey on the Expectations of the Voter and their perception.
The key objectives of this perception assessment are to generate:
- An improved understanding of the important needs of the voters.
- Momentum among key stakeholders for addressing priority areas.
To identify what are voter priorities in terms of governance issues like water, electricity roads, food, education and health, a list of 25 items were given to voters and they were asked to rate the issues as low, medium, high and not applicable for them. Along with the importance of these 25 issues, voters were also asked to rate the performance of their government on these particular issues and whether the performance was GOOD, AVERAGE or BAD. For calculating the performance score, separate weightages were given to GOOD, AVERAGE and BAD where GOOD was given weight equal to 5, AVERAGE was weighted 3 and BAD was weighted as 1. The weighted average was taken and the scores were between 1 and 5, where 1 was the lowest and 5 was the highest.
70% of the respondents were from rural areas and 30% were from urban areas.54% were of general caste, 13% OBC, 19% SC and 15% ST.
For the complete report, please visit:https://adrindia.org/content/adr-2018-madhya-pradesh-survey-report-0
- MP Rural Issues as per importance
- Among the top three most important issues, the data suggests that ‘better employment opportunities’ was the most important rural issue with 59% of the rural respondents stating so. It was followed by ‘higher price realisation for price products” at 56% and at third place was “Electricity for agriculture” at 40%.
- While 59% of the rural respondents found ‘better employment opportunities’ as an issue, only 4% considered ‘training for jobs’ as an issue. This shows the clear disparity between the employment available and the skill-set in the minds of the rural people.
- The most important rural issues are all primarily agricultural-based with ‘High Price Realization for farm products’, ‘Electricity for agriculture’, ‘Agriculture subsidy for seeds/fertilizers’, ‘Availability of water for agriculture’ and ‘Agriculture loan availability’ taking the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively with 56%, 40%, 38%, 36% and 31% of the rural respondents considering it as an issue respectively.
- ‘Better Roads’, ‘Better Public Transport’, ‘Drinking Water’, and ‘Empowerment of Women and security’ were all voted by 26%, 21%, 20% and 6% of the respondents respectively.
- ‘Better Garbage Clearance’, ‘Eradication of corruption’, and ‘Lower food prices for consumers’ were all voted as minor problems with 12%, 6% and 6% of the votes respectively.
- The least important problems were ‘Terrorism’, ‘Encroachment of Public Lands/ Lakes, etc.’ and ‘Strong defence/Military’ with 4%, 1% and 3% of the voters voting for them respectively.
- MP Urban Issues
- The data suggests that ‘better employment opportunities’ was the most major urban issue with 70% of the urban respondents finding it as an issue.
- While 70% of the urban respondents found ‘better employment opportunities’ as an issue, only 9% considered ‘training for jobs’ as an issue. This shows the clear disparity between the employment available and the skill-set in the minds of the people.
- ‘Better Law and Order/Policing’ was third at 41%.
- The important issues are mainly ‘infrastructure-based’ with ‘Better Hospitals/ Primary Health-Care Centres’, ‘Traffic congestion’, ‘Better Roads’, ‘Facility for cyclists and pedestrians on roads’ and ‘Better public transport’ taking second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh positions with 45%, 36%, 31%, 30% and 26% of the urban respondents considering them as an issue respectively.
- Other important urban issues are pollution-based with ‘Noise Pollution’, ‘Water and Air Pollution’ and ‘Mining/Quarrying’ with 24%, 23%, and 10% of the urban respondents considering it as an issue respectively.
- 20% of the urban respondents considered ‘Empowerment of women and their safety’ as a problem.
- 21% of the respondents wanted ‘electricity for domestic use’.
- ‘Strong Defence/Military’, ‘Terrorism’ and ‘Encroachment of Public Lands/Lakes’ were voted as the least of the problems with only 6%, 3% and 2% of the voters voting for them respectively.
- Performance of the MP Government on the rural issues:-
- The performance of the MP Government was best on ‘Agriculture loan availability’ and ‘Electricity for agriculture’ with an average score of 4.51 and 4.28 respectively for each of them.
- The next best performance of the government was on ‘Agricultural Subsidy for seeds/fertilisers’ with an average score of 3.94. Therefore, the government performed well in the agricultural sector.
- Next, the average score of the government on ‘Training for jobs’ was 3.75.
- ‘Better law and order / policing’ and ‘Availability of water for Agriculture’ come in next with an average score of 3.71 and 3.60 respectively.
- ‘Empowerment of women and their security’ was average at 2.75.
- ‘Better Public Transport’, ‘Eradication of corruption’ and ‘Better garbage clearance’ were poorly performed with the respective average scores of 2.12, 2.02 and 1.79.
- The worst performed sectors were ‘Water/River/Lake Pollution’, ‘Drinking Water’, ‘Encroachment of Public Land/Lakes’, and ‘Reservation for jobs and education’ with the average score of 1.61, 1.58, 1.06 and 1.01 respectively.
- Performance of the MP Government on the urban issues:-
- The performance of the MP government was best on ‘Better hospitals/Primary Health Care Centres’, ‘Better Law and Order/Policing’, ‘Better Roads’ and ‘Better Public Transport’ with respective average scores of 3.98, 3.85, 3.74 and 3.67.
- The next was ‘Electricity for Domestic Use’ with an average score of 3.50.
- ‘Drinking Water’ and ‘Empowerment of Women and Security’ were relatively poorly performed and had respective average scores of 2.11 and 2.59.
- The worst performed sectors were ‘Subsidized food distribution/Ration’, ‘Lower food prices for consumers’, ’Better garbage clearance’ and ‘Reservation for jobs and education’ with respective average scores of 1.98, 1.94, 1.73 and 1.06 respectively.
The survey identified the important factors that people take into account before voting for a particular candidate. Issues like whether the candidate matters the most or other issues like caste/religion of the candidate and CM candidate of the party.
The survey asked respondents about the reason they vote for a particular candidate. They were given five choices – candidate, party, party’s chief ministerial candidate, religion and caste. Respondents had to rank each of these as either very important, important or not important. Taking the weighted average across respondents for each of these factors, we can gauge the aggregate importance of each of the five factors across all voters.
It is interesting that, according to the survey, the most important factor for voters is the CM Candidate, followed by the Candidate’s party and the candidate. The least important factors were the distribution of cash, liquor, gifts, etc. and the Candidate’s caste or religion.
Some Salient Points of the Voting Behaviour
- 61% of the respondents were aware of the fact that the distribution of cash/gifts/money is illegal.
- 19% of the respondents were aware of the instances of the distribution of cash/gifts/money/liquor.
- 35% of the respondents were aware that they can get information on criminal backgrounds of the candidates.
- 95% of the respondents think that people should not vote for candidates with a criminal record/arrested in jail.
- 98% of the respondents think that someone with a criminal case should not be in Parliament or State Assembly.
- When asked the respondents about why the people vote for a candidate with a criminal record – 18% agreed to the candidate being of the same caste/religion, 13% agreed to the candidate being powerful, 31% agreed to the candidate doing good work, 15% agreed to the cases against the candidate not being serious, 30% agreed to the candidate spending generously in the elections and 26% agreed to not knowing about the criminal records of the candidates.
- When asked about the social influence on the votes of the respondents – 61% voted on their own, 18% were influenced by their spouse, 18% were influenced by other family members, 1% by caste/community leaders, and 2% by their friends and neighbours.
The survey assessed the voter characteristics and the voter perception towards issues of importance to them and how they think the government has performed on those issues. Thus, the analysis brings out mainly two important questions to the forefront. What important factors may drive divergence? What can be done to improve congruence?
Through the analysis, we can see that men and women whether in rural or urban areas are equally interested in politics and have actively participated in bringing forth their concerns. The decisions of the policymakers are likely to differ from the preferences of the constituents; however, this survey provides an opportunity to the policymakers to evaluate the issues that the respondents have raised and work towards minimizing the gap between voters and the government. We hope this report will give peoples representatives to do their work more effectively.
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