USINDO Election Countdown
New IFES Poll: SBY in Lead but Mega Gains
- The newest survey results announced on September 15 by IFES Jakarta on August 4 showed the relative rankings of the two presidential finalists as follows:
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (PD) – 61.2%
Megawati Sukarnoputri (PDI-P) – 29.3%
[Note: The percentage of those who claimed their choice is secret or have no opinion totaled 9.5%.]
- The survey work for the most part was completed before the Jakarta terrorist bombing on September 9. Consistent with previous polling, the IFES results show SBY ahead in all areas of the country except Bali and East and West Nusa Tenggara, but Megawati’s appeal has picked up in Central Java where the result was SBY/Kalla – 56% and Megawati/Hasyim – 40%. SBY/Kalla are running strongly in urban areas by 63% to 25% for Megawati/Hasyim, while the ratio improves somewhat for the latter in rural areas where Megawati/Hasyim polled 32% to SBY/Kalla’s 60%.
- Among those favoring SBY/Kalla, 56% cite the pair’s “clean” and positive personality, 17% say their ability and leadership are important, 12% identify their concern for common people, and 11% vote for change in government. Among Megawati supporters, experience rates high with 45%, while concern for common people is ranked at 16%, personality at 15%, and leadership ability at 8%. SBY/Kalla retains support among younger voters, whereas Megawati is stronger among those 54 years and older. Also, support for SBY/Kalla increases with the level of education.
LSI and LP3ES Polls Also Finds SBY Running Strongly
- The Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI), based on polling on September 10-12, finds a slightly reduced margin for SBY/Kalla with 57% to Megawati/Hasyim’s 31.5%. Although the survey was taken at the time of the terrorist bombing, economic concerns still ranked highest among the potential voters.
- A third poll done by LP3ES, the Institute of Research, Education and Social and Economic Affairs, revealed that 55.9% of respondents chose Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, while 28.7% favored Megawati. SBY, according to this survey, was favored because of his personality and perceived ability to resolve problems facing the country.
Campaigning Strictly Limited
Decree No. 48 issued by the National Election Commission (KPU) on September 8 strictly limits candidate activities in advance of the September 20 polling date:
- The official campaign period, now underway, is only three days, September 14-16.
- No mass rallies are allowed and the formats of campaign events are prescribed.
- Campaign themes are limited to law, government, local autonomy, security, economy, social welfare, and education, culture and religion.
- Televised “dialogues” are agreed between the candidates; there is no head-to-head debate in the chosen format and the maximum permitted duration is 45 minutes each on the three official campaign days.
- Radio/television speeches conducted by the pairs of candidates are limited to 10 to 15 minutes per day; broadcasts can occur only between 6 am and 6 pm.
- Candidates are allowed 20 minutes of advertising per day on radio/TV and only one page of printed advertising per day.
- Polls cannot be published in the media from September 17, the beginning of the mandated “silent period,” through polling day.