DHAKA, Feb 3: The ruling Awami League would still bag more votes than opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) if elections were held today with the participation of all major parties, according to an opinion poll.
The study, conducted by US-based Democracy International a week after the BNP-boycotted the January 5 polls, found that if the elections were fully participatory, 42.7 per cent people would have voted for Awami League, while 35.1 per cent would have preferred the BNP.
The watchdog carried out the study between January 11 and 15 to gauge the post-election environment, quizzing 1,500 people, aged 18 and above in 39 districts in all the seven administrative divisions of the country.
In November 2013, a poll showed that the Awami League remained behind the BNP.
Democracy International described the new results as being a “statistical dead heat” because of the margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent and showed that the political environment was ‘competitive’.
The poll found that the Awami League’s crucial ally Jatiya Party had 4 per cent support and BNP’s key ally in the 19-party alliance fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami 1 per cent.
Thirty two per cent of people said BNP must cut its ties with Jamaat while 19 per cent were undecided but around half of people surveyed said it did not matter to them who BNP’s political allies were.
Fifty two per cent of Awami League supporters quizzed in the survey said they were of the view that the BNP should cut ties with Jamaat while 17 per cent BNP supporters also expressed identical opinion.
Sixty-nine per cent of the respondents said Bangladesh was headed in the wrong direction and top three reasons for this were political conflicts, too many political shutdowns and price hikes.
The survey found that seven out of 10 supporters of the BNP and the AL want their parties to compromise and engage in talks to end the political stalemate.
Asked about the Government formed through the January 5 election, 40 per cent termed it “not credible”, 18 per cent credible, 25 per cent highly credible and 17 per cent less credible.
Fifty-nine per cent felt there should be another election within the next five years and 52 per cent said the BNP should immediately enter talks with the Government and stop protests.
Forty per cent believed the Government should complete its five-year tenure. (AGENCIES)