Tight race in Jakarta runoff: Survey
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If the gubernatorial runoff election were held today, out-of-towner Joko “Jokowi” Widodo would lead incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo, but only by a small gap, according to a recent survey.
The survey, released by the Soegeng Sarjadi School of Government (SSSG) on Friday, said that Jokowi — the current mayor of Surakarta, Central Java — was leading with 36.74 percent of those surveyed, while Fauzi trailed with 29.47 percent.
The survey involved 1,250 respondent in random sampling telephone interviews between Sept. 4 and Sept. 12. The SSSG’s survey has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
Effendi Ghazali, a political communication expert at the University of Indonesia (UI), said that the numbers could still turn during the week leading up to election day.
“What we can infer from the survey results is that currently, Jokowi has won approval from only a slightly larger number of voters than Fauzi. It doesn’t require a dramatic change to turn the situation over,” Effendi said.
The SSSG survey showed that 22.04 percent of respondents said they were undecided and 9.03 percent either did not know who to vote for or did not answer the question.
The survey’s results were consistent with a an earlier survey conducted by the Center for Political Studies (Puskapol) under UI’s school of social and political sciences, which found that more than 30 percent of voters were still undecided.
Effendi suggested both candidates focus on projecting a positive image to the public using the media. “Boasting about programs will be of little use for the next few days. It is now a game of perception, a game of image,” he said.
The SSSG survey showed that 40 percent of respondents believed that Jokowi would be able to solve Jakarta’s problems, while 35 percent had faith in Fauzi.
An earlier survey by Kompas showed that Jokowi was seen as being able to solve the city’s problem by a majority of voters from low-, middle- and upper-income levels at 35 percent, 34 percent and 45 percent, respectively. Fauzi’s numbers in the same survey were 26 percent, 25 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
J. Kristiadi, a political observer from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said that low public confidence for Fauzi was surprising considering that he had been in office for almost five years.
“The public have more faith in a mayor of a considerably smaller and simpler town than the incumbent. The public consider that it is unlikely that the incumbent would make changes,” Kristiadi said.
The political observer said that the result of the gubernatorial runoff might be seen as a reflection on the national political scene ahead of the 2014 presidential election.
In his run for reelection, Fauzi is supported by the largest party in the Jakarta City Council, the Democratic Party, which controls 32 seats, the second-largest party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) with 18 seats, the United Development Party (PPP) and Golkar — each with seven seats — and the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura) — each with four seats.
Jokowi has retained the support of his first-round backers, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), which has 11 council seats, and the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), which has six seats.