According to an ABP News- Lokniti - CSDS survey, the ruling Samajwadi Party has a slight edge over its main rivals - Bharatiya Janat Party and Bahujan Samaj Party - in the 2017 UP Assembly polls.
As per the survey, 30% of voters, surveyed from 23 July to 7 August, opted to vote for SP if the elections were to be held now. Which means, the 403-member House will be divided if the SP wins about 141-151 seats as the single largest party. However, with 124-134 seats, the BJP will fare better than Mayawati's BSP, leaving Congress with only 8-14 seats.
Clearly, SP is the choice with 30% of voters, BJP with 27% of the voters, followed by BSP at 26%, and Congress with a mere 5% vote share.
Looking back at the 2012 Assembly polls, the BJP was projected the giant in terms of votes with an 11% point swing. However, if the 2014 Lok Sabha elections are studied, the BJP went down by a massive 16 points. With the swing and miss, SP and BSP now stand in favour.
Meanwhile, Brajesh Pathak, a former Lok Sabha MP and sitting Rajya Sabha member, one of the architects of Mayawati-led BSP's 2007 winning mantra of Brahmin-Dalit coalition, joined the BJP here on 21 August in the presence of Amit Shah, Union minister Mahesh Sharma and general secretaries Arun Singh and Anil Jain.
OBC leaders Swami Prasad Maurya and RK Choudhary also have quit the BSP. After joining BJP, Pathak said, "Sarva Samaj is being neglected by the BSP. There is also corruption within the party," TOI quoted him as saying.