Golkar Gains Ground as Democrats Wallow: Poll
Ezra Sihite & Rizky Amelia
The popular support is continuing to shift from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party to its Golkar Party rival, a survey released on Sunday shows.
According to a polling by the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI), only 11.3 percent of 1,200 respondents surveyed across the country said they would vote for the Democrats, putting the party on third position after Golkar with 20.9 percent and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) with 14 percent.
“Democrats continues to drop while Golkar is strengthening its hold on top,” LSI researcher Adjie Alfaraby said in a press conference in Jakarta on Sunday.
Observers say the fall in popularity is due to graft cases implicating many senior Democratic politicians, including chairman Anas Urbaningrum, Youth and Sports Affairs Minister Andi Mallarangeng and legislator Angelina Sondakh.
Anas, Andi and Angelina had previously been perceived as role models and also the country’s political future.
“That’s why graft cases implicating them very significantly damaged the party,” Aleksius Jemadu, dean of Pelita Harapan University’s School of Social and Political Sciences, said in Jakarta on Sunday.
Adjie said that surveys by the LSI since January last year consistently showed the rise of Golkar and the fall of the Democrats. The Democrats led the polling in January last year with 20.5 percent while Golkar only garnered 13.5 percent.
In polling last June, as the graft cases hitting the Democrats began to emerge, the party’s popularity dropped to 15.5 percent, falling behind Golkar which increased its electability to 17.9 percent. In October’s poll, the Democrats’ support rose to 16.5 percent but Golkar continued to gain ground with 18.2 percent.
The Democrats, however, continued their fall, dropping to 13.7 percent in January and 11.3 percent in this month’s survey while Golkar increased its electability to 18.9 percent in January and 20.9 percent this month.
“If the trend continues, Golkar will win the 2014 legislative elections,” said Adjie. He said that if the trend continues, the Democrats will attract less than 10 percent in the upcoming election.
Several recent surveys, including one by the Sugeng Sarjadi Syndicate last month, put Democrats behind Golkar and PDI-P.
In the 2009 legislative election, the Democrats attracted 20.9 percent of the vote, Golkar 14.5 percent and PDI-P 14 percent.