The Kompas R&D survey shows that PDI-P, Gerindra and the Democrats are still in the top three in terms of electability. The number of respondents who have not yet made a choice are also diminishing.
IQBAL BASYARI, KURNIA YUNITA RAHAYU
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JAKARTA, KOMPAS — The difference in the electability of political parties in the top three positions is getting smaller at about 1.5 years ahead of the 2024 General Election. With increasingly fierce competition among political parties, especially those with similar voting niches, parties that want to win votes must be able to optimize the party machine, be more sensitive to the aspirations of the voters and optimize the personification of the party with vote-getting figures.
The results of the Kompas Research and Development survey in October 2022 shows that the PDI-P was still in the top position with an electability of 21.1 percent. However, this figure fell slightly by 1.7 percent compared to the survey in June 2022. The gap between the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and parties in second and third positions also narrowed. The Gerindra Party (Gerindra) got 16.2 percent, up 3.7 percent from June 2022, while the Democratic Party (Democrats) got 14 percent (up 2.4 percent).
The next positions are Golkar Party (Golkar), the Prosperous Justice Party, the National Awakening Party, the United Indonesia Party, the Nasdem Party (Nasdem), the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the United Development Party. Respondents who have not yet made a choice are also dwindling to 12 percent from 16 percent in June 2022.
The survey also shows that the level of party choice volatility tends to increase in October 2022. The nine House of Representatives (DPR) parties have the potential to face an average voter shift of 35.9 percent. This loyalty has the potential to fall again by an average of 21 percent if voters do not like the presidential candidate figure being promoted.
Chairman of PDI-P Central Board (DPP) Eriko Sotarduga, who was contacted from Jakarta, on Monday (24/10/2022), assessed that the decline in PDI-P's electability was still at a reasonable level because it was within the margin of error of the survey results. According to him, the decline was linked to the decline in the percentage of public satisfaction with the government's performance. The Kompas survey in October 2022 recorded that the level of public satisfaction with the government's performance amounted to 62.1 percent, down compared to the same survey in June, when satisfaction was recorded at 67.1 percent.
"Anyhow, Pak [President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo] Jokowi is the main cadre, the best cadre of the PDI-P, who became President of the Republic of Indonesia. If there is a decrease in the level of public satisfaction with the government in the economic, legal and health sectors, it will certainly affect the party," said Eriko.
According to him, the results of the dynamic electability survey serve as a reminder for all cadres to consistently carry out the orders of PDI-P General Chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri, namely to do what is best for the community. The survey results that continue to soar, according to her, can even make political parties complacent because the results may not match reality.
Regarding public preference, which considers the choice of a presidential candidate rather than a political party, Eriko said, the coat-tail effect that the party gets from the candidate it carries is not too big. However, he believed, parties that carry their own cadres as candidates for president will receive higher electoral incentives than parties that only carry those from outside the cadres.
The Deputy Chairperson of Golkar, Erwin Aksa, had no problem with his party's declining electability level. According to him, the survey was conducted on public perception so that it cannot describe the number of seats obtained. Based on Golkar's internal study, the proportion of voters for legislative candidates is far greater than party voters. For example, in the 2019 election, only 20 percent voted for the party, while 80 percent voted for legislative candidates. Facing the 2024 legislative elections, Golkar prioritizes strengthening the role of cadres at the grassroots.
In line with that, PAN Deputy General Chairman Viva Yoga Mauladi said that, in increasing the electability of political parties, PAN prioritized the work of party machines and legislative candidates. PAN does not really expect the coat-tail effect in determining the presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
Meanwhile, the Deputy of Election Winning Body of the Democrats’ DPP, Kamhar Lakumani, said the increase in the electability of Democrats strengthened cadres' optimism for winning the 2024 General Election. This is the result of the political work of cadres and management in lightening the burden on the people and advocating for the interests of the people. The leadership of General Chairman Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono in consolidating cadres and administrators also plays a major role in this electability increase.
Regarding the slight increase in electability experienced by Nasdem, according to the deputy chairperson of Nasdem, Ahmad Ali, this shows that Nasdem's choice to declare Anies Baswedan as a presidential candidate did not decrease electability as some expected. However, it is said that its’ electability is more a result of the consolidation of the party carried out by the management and cadres. Nasdem will continue to improve the work of the party as well as introduce Anies to the management and voters so that Anies' association with Nasdem is stronger.
Political party incentives
The deputy executive director of the Populi Center, Rafif Pamenang Imawan, assessed that the results of the Kompas survey show that the migration of votes from political parties is still quite large. Even though political parties of the top and middle ranks have not changed much, their electability fluctuates. Even PDI-P, which is in first place, experienced a decline in electability so that its electability is closely approached by Gerindra.
The struggle for political parties that have relatively the same voter niche, such as Democrats, Golkar and Nasdem, must inevitably be the personifications of figures, in addition to moving the party machine. Characters who can attract votes should be emphasized more considering the figures of the presidential candidates that will be carried by political parties also provide incentives for political parties.
However, Rafif emphasized that the presidential candidates who are promoted should be in accordance with the wishes of political party voters. This is because the coat-tail effect will be bigger and faster because the choice of political parties represents the wishes of the voters.
The electability of political parties is influenced by two things, namely the performance of political parties and the coat-tail effect.
“The effect is not necessarily positive, especially if it is not in accordance with the wishes of the voters. So, political parties must be sensitive to the voices of their supporters so that their voices are solid,” he said.
A senior researcher of the Center for Political Research at the National Research and Innovation Agency, Firman Noor, also emphasized the importance of political parties listening to grassroots voices. “The grassroots voice must be heard and political deals at the elite level need to be abandoned. Don't be too confident in making decisions because if there is a gap with the voters, they [voters] can switch to other parties that are more in line," he said.
Executive Director of the Indonesian Survey Institute Djayadi Hanan said that the electability of political parties is influenced by two things, namely the performance of political parties and the coat-tail effect. Therefore, he emphasized the importance of political parties improving their performance to voters.