President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo condemned the new Israeli security measures at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound following the deaths of three Palestinians amid mass protests on Saturday (22/07). (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

Divisive Jakarta Election Had No Impact on Jokowi's Approval Ratings


JUNE 09, 2017

Jakarta. The divisive political campaign before Jakarta's gubernatorial election in April had little impact on public support for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, a nation-wide survey conducted by Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting, or SMRC, has shown.

According to the survey, Jokowi's approval ratings are still the highest ahead of the country's next presidential race in 2019, followed by retired general and authoritarian leader, Suharto, former son in law Prabowo Subianto.

"The stability of the support is due to the public's assessment of Jokowi's performance and the macro-national conditions that have not changed much," SMRC executive director Djayadi Hanan said in a press release on Thursday (08/09).

The gubernatorial race has been widely regarded as the most divisive ever in the nation's history, with religious and ethnic tensions reaching a fever pitch in recent months.

The election itself saw Anies Baswedan and Sandiaga Uno, supported by Prabowo's the Great Indonesia Party (Gerindra) and its mostly Islamic-based parties, win against former Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, supported by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and its nationalist parties coalition, which backs Jokowi.

A controversial blasphemy case, seen by many as a political weapon to defeat Ahok, concluded last month by sentencing the former governor to two years in prison.

SMRC's survey was conducted on May 14-20, with 1,350 respondents who already have voting rights selected via multistage random sampling. The margin of error was approximately 2.5 percent, with 95 percent confidence level.

According to the survey, 34.1 percent of the respondents said they would vote for Jokowi, and 17.2 percent for Prabowo.

In a head-to-head simulation, Jokowi's approval rating stood at 53.7 percent, while Prabowo's stood at 37.2 percent.

"The approval ratings difference between Jokowi and Prabowo is now similar to the 2007 approval rating difference between former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and former President Megawati Soekarnoputri," Djayadi said.

"The survey has found that there's been no significant difference in indicators before and after Jakarta's gubernatorial election. In fact, it [the election] had no effect on the national politics," Djayadi said.