Election season is heating up as the nominations procedure is just completed. Here is a quick look, using data from the latest #KhabarLive Survey, at the popularity of leaders across contesting parties, vote-share and seat-share projections, in these constituencies in Telangana.

The survey reveals that the Congress will benefit, riding on its emerging leadership, with the likes of Revanth Reddy, Shabbir Ali, Uttam Kumar Reddy, Komatreddy Venkatreddy and Feroz Khan – a few in the huge list of like minded leaders.

The Congress-TDP alliance has changed the electoral landscape of the Telangana. The KCR-led TRS was expected to comfortably win the election, however, the TDP and Congress bonhomie has upset those plans. The Congress-TDP alliance leads the polls by 4.5 percent vote share. This lead may get strengthened owing to the bandwagon effect that causes voters to switch to a side that is winning.

Who Will Telangana Vote For?
– K Chandrashekhar Rao (TRS)
With 42.9 % votes (Voter Survey), Telangana’s most popular CM candidate.

KCR is the most popular leader in the ‘standalone and runoff style’ polling. However, the electoral arithmetic of TDP and INC is besting his party. Perhaps this is also a critical weakness of TRS; standalone, it is unable to take on TDP and INC.

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– K.Jana Reddy (INC)
With 22.6 % votes (Voter Survey), Telangana’s second most popular CM candidate.

Overview: TDP-Congress Duo May Win Despite KCR’s Charm
– Chief Minister KCR is an asset for TRS. However, a lack of alliance partners is hurting TRS now
– BJP may become electorally relevant in the state as a critical tilt partner for TRS
– As of now, the TDP-INC alliance is sure to win the state
– A loss for KCR may alter electoral landscape in Telangana and neighboring Andhra Pradesh
– TDP and INC are winning the election despite the lack of a big face to take on KCR

A tough one to predict. Despite a term anti-incumbency and insipid state TRS, the Congress is unable to decisively tilt the scales in it favour. Revath Reddy of the Congress is the most popular CM candidate, as per our survey, closely followed by KCR and KTR of the TRS and Congress president of Telangana Uttam Kumar Reddy will be least rated CM candidate.

Congress has the most popular leader in the state, and incumbent CM KCR is a close second. In a runoff style question, the gap between Revant reddy and KCR increases; this indicates that the faction-fighting in the Congress may not impact its fortunes to the extent suspected earlier.

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Infighting in Congress, popularity of TRS, and incumbent CM KCR’s pockets of influence are sustaining TRS in the fray. Despite all these factors, Congress has a slight edge, albeit within the statistical margin of error.

However, the sheer size of the TRS’s lead in the state has ensured that a change of 2 percent vote share will not impact the seat share projections much.

With the matter of ticket distribution settled and last-minute micro-management in place, the vote share trends may not differ substantially, here on. An 8 percent projected vote share lead is unlikely to be whittled down by a disjointed TRS.

The Congress is leading all 5 electoral regions comfortably, that is, with more than 3 percent projected vote share difference. Only in Siddipet Sircilla and Medak regions, the Congress’s lead is less than 5 percent in vote share; in the other three regions, the Congress is completely dominating the TRS, especially in Nizamabad and Karimnagar districts.

This is indicative of a uniform anti-incumbency mood across the state with no pocket of BJP influence shining through in the polls.

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A close contest brings micro and regional factors into play. Therefore in Telangana, a sweep in one of the regions by either party can upset the balance. The regional equation and the relative strength of the two parties in various regions may decide the election.

The Congress and TRS are locked bumper to bumper in all regions of the state including the most critical central region. A slight move in either of the regions may precipitate a landslide for either party. Given the ground situation, it seems that TRS might be the first mover here. #KhabarLive