President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo enjoys strong support among the youth and female voters. (Antara Photo/Adiwinata Solihin)

Jokowi Holds Comfortable Lead for Re-election: Roy Morgan

MARCH 03, 2019

Jakarta. Barring anything unforeseen over the next 45 days, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo will likely sail to a comfortable re-election next month. 

In a survey by Australian pollster Roy Morgan, about 58 percent of respondents said they would "most likely vote" for the incumbent. 

The poll was conducted in January, among 1,039 Indonesians who would be eligible to vote in the April 17 election. Roy Morgan said the approximate margin of error for the result was around 3 percent.

The pollster said support for Jokowi had risen by about five percentage points compared with the 2014 presidential election, while support for his rival, former Army general Prabowo Subianto, was down by about the same amount, to 42 percent. 

"The strong performance of the Indonesian economy over the past five years and the exceptional confidence expressed by everyday Indonesians over the past year are certainly strong pointers to the success of President Jokowi's political leadership heading towards the April presidential election," Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said in a statement on Friday. 

Jokowi enjoys strong support in rural areas, where he leads by 17 percentage points. His advantage in urban areas is slimmer, with lead of six percentage points.

"Jokowi's support is widespread, however, it is strongest in rural areas outside the capital, Jakarta, including his home area of Central Java, and in East Java, Bali, the northern provinces of Sumatra and the island of Sulawesi," Levine said.

The president is trailing in Jakarta, West Java and South Sumatra, according to the poll.

Despite efforts by Prabowo and his running mate, Sandiaga Uno, to appeal to "emak-emak," or housewives, Jokowi still enjoys a significant lead among the female demographic. 

"Jokowi also has the magic touch with Indonesian women – over 60 percent of women support Jokowi, compared with only 39 percent that support Prabowo," Levine said. 

The bulk of Jokowi's supporters are aged between 25 and 49.

The strong support for Jokowi buoys his party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), with more than 40 percent of respondents indicating that they would vote for it in the legislative election, which will be concurrent with the presidential election. 

Prabowo's Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) would likely attract about 25 percent of the vote. The Democratic Party, Golkar, Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and National Mandate Party (PAN) would likely gather just enough to clear the 4 percent electoral threshold, the poll showed. These parties, except Golkar, are in the Prabowo-led coalition. 

The remaining parties, including the National Awakening Party (PKB), Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) and Berkarya Party, would need to double down on their efforts to ensure any seats in the House of Representatives.

Still, the prospect of a landslide win has not lulled Jokowi's campaign team into complacency. The team says it deals on a daily basis with political slander and negative campaigns that undermine the incumbent's lead. Last week, police charged three women for spreading false information. They allegedly claimed that Jokowi would prohibit the azan, or Islamic call to prayer, if he is re-elected.  

"On the grassroots level, issues like this could quickly affect [votes]," Erick Thohir, chairman of Jokowi's campaign team, said on Friday. "We do not want to be complacent just yet, as even small things can derail us. We will continue our efforts to ensure victory."

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