An opinion poll released on Sunday predicted the Bharatiya Janata Party's victory with a thumping majority in the Gujarat Assembly polls, due later this year, for a record seventh time by bagging 135-143 seats. According to the opinion poll conducted by ABP News-CVoter, the vote share of BJP and Congress will decrease. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) can gain a significant vote share but it will hardly get one or two seats in the 182-member House.

The Congress will win 36-44 seats, it said.

Most of the respondents favoured incumbent chief minister Bhupendra Patel for the second term.

"According to the ABP News-CVoter (Centre for Voting Opinion & Trends in Election Research) opinion poll, the ruling BJP is predicted to win the elections for a record seventh time since 1995, in Gujarat," a release by ABP news said.

The BJP is likely to win between 135-143 seats, which would represent a significant gain from its 2017 total tally of 99 seats, it said.

"However, as a result of a strong challenge posed by AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) as a strong third force, the vote shares of the BJP and INC (Indian National Congress) are likely to drop below the 2017 levels," it said.

According to projections, the BJP will receive 46.8% (down from 49.1% in 2017) of the vote share, followed by the INC with 32.3% (down from 41.4% in 2017). The AAP may garner a sizeable vote share of 17.4%.

"Accordingly, INC is likely to win 36-44 seats. It is predicted that the AAP would win 0-2 seats. Others are likely to receive a vote share of 3.5% and win 0-3 seats," it said.

ABP News-CVoter conducted a tracker in October and one of the questions posed to the voters was their preferred choice for the Chief Minister's post.

In response to the question, 34.6% of respondents favoured (incumbent chief minister) Bhupendra Patel, 15.6% backed an AAP candidate, 9.2% favoured (former CM) Vijay Rupani of BJP, while 5% favoured Nitin Patel (former Deputy CM).

It said 4.9% of respondents favoured Shakti Singh Gohil (Congress), 4 % Bharat Sinh Solanki (Congress), 3.7% C R Patil (Gujarat BJP chief), 2.9% backed Hardik Patel and 2.8% Arjun Modhwadia (Congress) as their choice for the CM's post.

In the 2017 polls, the BJP had won 99 seats, Congress 77, Independents 3, BTP 2, and NCP 1.

Source: ET