Better employment opportunities, better healthcare and drinking water are the top priorities for the voters at the all-India level, as per a survey by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

According to the All India Survey 2018, in all the 10 areas that were priority for the voters, the government’s rating was “below average”.

“The significance of better employment opportunities as voters’ highest priority has increased by 56.67 percent from 30 percent in 2017 to 47 percent in 2018. At the same time, the performance of the government on this issue declined from 3.17 to 2.15 on a scale of five,” the ADR survey noted.

The three main objectives of the ADR survey were to identify voters’ priorities on specific governance issues, voters’ ratings of the government’s performance on those issues, and factors affecting voting behaviour.

Voters Want Jobs, Healthcare and Drinking Water

According to the survey, better employment opportunities (46.80 percent), better healthcare (34.60 percent) and drinking water (30.50 percent) were the top three priorities of the voters at the all-India level.

It is followed by better roads (28.34 percent) and better public transport (27.35 percent) at the fourth and the fifth place, respectively.

Agriculture-related governance issues also featured predominantly in the top 10 voters’ priorities at a time several parts of the country have been witnessing farm distress.

(Source: ADR)

The report adds, “It is a matter of serious concern that for none of the 31 listed voters’ priorities, the performance of the government was rated as average or above average.”

Better law-and-order situation was the 10th governance-related issue in the survey.

Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour

The survey also shows that 41 percent of voters accepted that distribution of cash, liquor and gifts was an important factor influencing their behaviour. Nearly 75 percent voters said that the chief ministerial candidate was the most important reason behind voting for a particular candidate.

97.86 percent voters felt that candidates with criminal background should not be in Parliament or state Assembly, only 35.20 percent voters knew that they could get information on criminal records of the candidates.

The survey also shows that 35.89 percent voters are also willing to vote for a candidate with criminal records if the candidate has done good work in the past.

The survey was conducted between October and December last year, covering 534 Lok Sabha constituencies with 2,73,487 voters, spread among various demographics, participating in the exercise.

“Amongst the 32 states and UTs (Union Territories) that were surveyed, in 29 of them, voters have given below average ratings to the government for its performance on all top 3 voters’ priorities at the state level. This is with the exception of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Puducherry,” the findings of the survey noted.

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