We’re still a long way off from Indonesia’s 2019 presidential election, but since incumbent Joko Widodo was (unsurprisingly) officially named the presidential candidate for the ruling PDI-P party last Friday, speculation is once again getting rife regarding both his possible picks for VP and the chances that anybody could beat him at the polls.
Numerous surveys over the last several months show the president with a commanding lead over any potential challengers, including Prabowo Subianto, the head of the Gerindra party who Jokowi defeated in 2014’s hotly contested election and who is widely expected to run again next year. Jokowi has a clear lead over Prabowo at the moment, and Prabowo has a clear lead over any other likely candidates, although the latest poll from the Populi Center political survey group showed a small downturn in both of their numbers.
According to the results of Populi’s latest poll, Jokowi’s electability is at 52.8%, a slight drop from December 2017 when their poll had him at 54.9%, whereas Prabowo’s got 15.4% in the new poll, down from 18.9% in their previous survey.
Those numbers still put them far above other national political figures, none of whom were even able to break the 1% mark when respondents were asked to freely name their preferred presidential candidate. That includes such as former Indonesian Military Commander Gatot Nurmantyo who got 0.7% percent’ Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, the son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who also got 0.7%; jailed former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who was picked by 0.4% percent; and former president and PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri, who got just 0.3%.
The Populi Center report noted that that despite Jokowi’s slight downturn in this latest poll, his popularity has remained quite steady since August, whereas Prabowo’s numbers have steadily declined over the same period. Here are the results of their last six polls.
January 2015: 45.5%
October 2015: 36.6%
August 2017: 52.8%
October 2017: 49.4%
December 2017: 54.9%
February 2018: 52.8%
January 2015: 19.2%
October 2015: 24.3%
August 2017: 28.0%
October 2017: 21.7%
December 2017: 18, 9%
February 2018: 15.4%
The latest Populi Center survey was conducted from February 7-16, and involved 1,200 respondents from across Indonesia using a multistage random sampling method.
If Prabowo’s numbers continue to slip while Jokowi’s remain steady, perhaps the seemingly ludicrous scenario of Prabowo choosing to run as Jokowi’s VP won’t seem so implausible.