New Delhi, Oct. 8: A Google India survey of urban voters has thrown up good news and some bad news for political parties ahead of the general elections.
Good news for Narendra Modi: 37 per cent of urban India voters said they made political choices based on the Internet. Besides, leaders who have a strong online presence are perceived to be “progressive, transparent, approachable and optimists”.
Good news for Rahul Gandhi: Only 11 per cent think a party’s candidate for Prime Minister is a deciding factor.
Good news for all parties: If you have not discovered social media yet, it is not too late. As many as 42 per cent of the urban Indians are still undecided on who to vote for.
The Google survey covered 108 constituencies and 41,000 respondents.
While the BJP would like to make the 2014 general election a direct contest between Modi and Rahul, more respondents appeared to be scrutinising the local leaders rather than the candidate for Prime Minister.
On average, 36 per cent said the local candidate mattered and 35 per cent said their decision would be based on the party, not an individual.
In central India, as many as 48 per cent respondents have said that party matters more than the candidate or the leader.
Eastern India also thinks on the same lines — 43 per cent attached more importance to the party.
“A significant population of registered urban Indian voters are now online and spend an equal amount of time on online and offline media. The findings reveal that the Internet will play an important role in influencing the large undecided urban Indian population in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,” said Rajan Anandan, vice-president and managing director of Google India.
“Here is an opportunity for political parties and candidates to engage the urban Indian youth on the Internet. From Google’s perspective, we are already seeing a massive growth in election-related search queries,” Anandan added.
The positive perceptions — “as progressive, transparent, approachable and optimists” — associated with online presence should cheer Modi.
With 25 lakh Twitter followers, Modi has outstripped political pioneer Shashi Tharoor who has clocked 19 lakh.
Although the Election Commission uploads details of every candidate’s affidavit, 45 per cent of the respondents said they were not satisfied with the information available about parties on the Internet.
Google search trend
for six months from
1 March to 31 August
Most searched politicians
- Narendra Modi
- Rahul Gandhi
- Sonia Gandhi
- Manmohan Singh
- Arvind Kejriwal
- Akhilesh Yadav
- Nitish Kumar
- Sushma Swaraj
- Digvijaya Singh
Most searched parties
- Aam Aadmi Party
- Shiv Sena