The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a civil rights organisation, conducted an all-India survey on governance issues and voting behaviours in 2018. With about 2,73,487 voters’ participation across 534 Lok Sabha constituencies, this survey is said to be one of the largest surveys in this category.
The survey was conducted between October and December 2018. It revealed that top priorities while voting were employment and access to basic amenities like water, healthcare and better roads.
However, two of the most notable observations of this survey were that for 41.34% of voters cash, liquor and gifts were an important factor and 35.89% of the voters were willing to vote for a candidate with the criminal background if he/she has done good work in past.
There was a three-fold purpose behind the survey. It intended to gauge voters’ priorities on specific issues; their rating of government on those issues; and factors affecting voting behaviour.
Some of the top ten governance issues considered were better employment opportunities, healthcare facilities, drinking water, better roads, law and order, among others. In all the ten parameters, those surveyed gave a below average score. The average score across different parameters stood at 2.289 out of 5.
The All India Survey 2018 showed that better employment opportunities (46.80%), health care (34.60%) and drinking water (30.50%) were the top three voters’ priorities. Interestingly, better employment opportunity as voters’ highest priority has increased from 30% in 2017 to 46.80% in 2018, a 56.67% jump. Other issues like better healthcare (40% jump), drinking water (150% jump) and better roads (100% jump), have also raked up in terms of priority. However, the government’s performance on all these parameters have taken a hit.
The survey, which also attempted to gauge voters’ behaviour showed some eye-opening findings.
About 75.11% of the voters’ said that the CM candidate was the most important factor behind voting for a particular candidate. 71.32% of respondents said that the candidate’s party mattered. 68.03% of the respondents said that the candidate mattered.
About 46.67% of voters’ said that people vote for candidates with the criminal background because of unawareness. While 97.86% of voters felt persons with criminal records should not be in Parliament or State Assembly, but 35.89% said that they would vote for such candidate if he/she has done good work in past.