Now that the General Elections Commission (KPU) has finalized the results of the first round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election and officially declared there will be a runoff between the incumbents, Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama and Vice Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat, and rivals Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno, the media is once again focusing on the horse race between the two pairs of candidates (it helps that King Salman of Saudi Arabia already left for Bali as well).
We now have the results of the first survey to have taken place fully after the first round election day on Feb 15 and they seem to bear out the perceived wisdom that Ahok is in serious trouble because most of the people who voted for Agus Yudhoyono (who finished in 3rd place with about 16% of the vote) will switch to Anies.
The poll of 800 randomly sampled eligible voters in Jakarta, conducted by the National Media Survey (Median) group from Feb 21-27, found that Anies-Sandi received 46.3% of the vote while Ahok-Djarot received 39.7%. Undecided voters made up the other 14%.
Ahok-Djarot ‘won’ the first round with 43% of the vote compared to Anies-Sandiaga’s 39%, so this Median study result could represent a 4% drop in support for Ahok and a 7% increase in Anies’ standing, suggesting a significant shift in voter preferences after the first round vote.
So why are voters making the switch? Well according to Median researcher Rico Marbun, it’s pretty much for the reasons you would think.
“More than half the respondents to our survey chose Anies-Sandiaga for reasons that didn’t have to do with him as a candidate in my opinion, specifically the issue of religion and the issue of ‘he is not Ahok’. This is not an issue regarding the competence of the candidates,” Rico said during a press conference today as quoted by Kompas.
In fact, about 55.9% of those who said they would vote for Anies cited religion or the “not Ahok” factor as their main reason, with competence of the candidates far behind at only 13.3%.
That would explain why the survey found that 56.3% of respondents said they were satisfied with Ahok-Djarot’s performance – there are clearly many people who would choose not to vote for Ahok, even though they’re satisfied with his performance, over the issue of religion and his ongoing blasphemy case.
The survey was conducted from February 21 until February 27 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4% and a confidence level of 95 percent. Median said the survey was self-funded.