Many undecided voters have indicated that they would most likely vote for Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama and his running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat in next month's election, in a survey conducted after the first gubernatorial debate on Friday evening (13/01). (Antara Photo/M Agung Rajasa)

More Swing Voters Lean Towards Ahok-Djarot After First Debate, Survey Shows

BY :YUSTINUS PAAT

JANUARY 15, 2017

Jakarta. Many undecided voters have indicated that they would most likely vote for Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and his running mate Djarot Saiful Hidayat in next month's election, in a survey conducted after the first gubernatorial debate on Friday evening (13/01).

Sirojudin Abbas, a researcher at Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC), said Jakarta voters are critical and rational, and that they judge the capacity and competency of their future leaders to manage various issues affecting the capital.

"The first public debate has convinced undecided voters to vote for Ahok-Djarot, because they see the candidate pair as leaders who have the capacity, competence and capability to understand and provide solutions for Jakarta's problems," Abbas said.

He said the debate made it evident that Ahok and Djarot are far ahead of rivals Agus Yudhoyono-Sylviana Murni and Anies Baswedan-Sandiaga Uno, because the incumbent pair has mastered the socioeconomic problems in Jakarta, while also proving that they can provide programs to tackle the issues raised during the debate.

"Meanwhile, Agus-Sylvi and Anies-Sandiaga failed to come up with alternative socioeconomic policies. The two candidate pairs could not accurately address the weaknesses in Jakarta's socioeconomic policies," Abbas said. He added that "one of these [rival pairs] even copied Ahok-Djarot's policies."

Abbas said Ahok and Djarot have shown integrity during the debate, because it is not only about avoiding legal issues, but also about consistently enforcing regulations in the Jakarta administration.

"Ahok has clearly said that firm action should be taken against anyone who breaks the law, to create a more humane and better Jakarta," the researcher said.

Beside winning over swing voters, the public debate also affected hesitant voters – or those who have already made up their minds but may still be convinced otherwise – among the support base of each candidate pair.

"These hesitant voters usually wait for new information, evidence and facts," Abbas said.

He said the largest number of hesitant voters were among the supporters of Agus-Sylvi and Anies-Sandiaga. It is therefore likely that many of them may eventually vote for Ahok and Djarot.

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