JAKARTA, Indonesia – With just two days away from Indonesia’s presidential election on Wednesday, July 9, the latest surveys indicate Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo may have taken the momentum back from former general Prabowo Subianto, though the margin remains slim.
Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) said on Monday, July 7, that Jokowi and running mate Jusuf Kalla’s electability is now at 47.8% over Prabowo and running mate Hatta Rajasa’s 44.2%. The survey was carried out from July 2-5 through a multistage random sampling method involving 2,400 respondents in 33 provinces.
This represents a 3.6-percentage gap between the two candidates, up from the 0.5-percentage point gap in LSI’s last survey at the end of June, which showed a 43.5% electability for Jokowi-Kalla and 43% for Prabowo-Hatta.
LSI Director for Strategy Agustinus Budi Prasetyo told Rappler the survey results don’t take into account yet the impact of the final presidential debate late on Saturday, July 5, where Jokowi and Kalla were seen to have come out strongly. (READ: Indonesia’s presidential campaign ends with a bang)
“The number of undecided voters also declined from almost 15% in the previous survey to 8% in the latest one,” Agustinus added.
The survey result backs the statement of Anies Baswedan, a member of the Jokowi-JK success team, that they started rebounding last week.
“We stopped Prabowo’s momentum,” Anies told Rappler’s Maria Ressa in an interview on Monday, adding that they now expect a 6%-12% victory on Wednesday.
Social media monitoring group Politicawave similarly said social media sentiments favor Jokowi and Kalla. The group’s month-long monitoring of almost 6 million social media conversations by 1.6 million netizens concluded with a 53.8% electability score for Jokowi and Kalla over 46.2% for Prabowo and Hatta.
Politicawave founder Yose Rizal added that the net positive sentiment for Jokowi-Kalla was 3.5 times that of Prabowo-Hatta.
“In 10 of the 12 regional and legislative elections we’ve monitored, the candidate with the most conversations and positive sentiment wins,” he added. (Catch Rappler’s coverage of the Indonesian election here.)
There are about 65 million Indonesians on Facebook, and Jakarta is known as the world’s Twitter city. The youth turn to the Internet in a country where TV networks are owned by political party leaders. (READ: Like World Cup, elections fire up Indonesian youth)
Jokowi was initially seen to be a clear frontrunner in the race for Indonesia’s presidency, with a 20-percentage point lead over Prabowo in March. The former general’s well-funded and well-oiled campaign, however, managed to drastically cut that lead down to just a few points, with many observers predicting the momentum would carry Prabowo to victory (READ: Why Prabowo? Sandiaga Uno talks to Rappler)
Since Suharto’s downfall in 1998 after a three-decade dictatorship, Indonesia has transformed into a freewheeling democracy. (READ: Primer on Indonesian elections)
However corruption has flourished among the new political class, and nostalgia is growing in some quarters for a return to an era of stronger rule.
“This is going to be an election that determines whether Indonesia moves forward or starts to look backwards,” said Paul Rowland, an independent political analyst based in Jakarta. (READ: What’s at stake in Indonesia’s elections?) – with reports from Ulma Haryanto and Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
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