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Sri Lanka’s UNP Likely to Get Most Seats in August Polls: Scenario Analysis

SCENARIOS:  Possible scenarios for Sri Lanka’s parliamentary polls

ECONOMYNEXT – In a scenario analysis by our political correspondent on the 2015 parliamentary polls, the United National Party is leading on three probable outcomes but without a simple majority of 113 in the 225-member parliament.

Our political correspondent has analysed three scenarios covering the best case for the United People’s Freedom Alliance, the best case for the United National Party and a conservative view.

In each model, the ruling UNP is in the lead, but without a simple majority of 113.

However, given that the 13 to 14 seats that will go to the Tamil National Alliance, will remain neutral in a future parliament without siding with any national party to form a government, any party securing 106 seats will have a comfortable working majority in the House.

Our correspondent says the UNP is the only party which would reach the 106 level on its own (in the best case for the UNP). With the support of five more Muslim seats, the UNP will be able to form a stable government.

The UPFA is seriously handicapped as this is the first time in 20 years the party has to campaign without the support of the State media and state resources at its disposal. The UPFA is also suffering from a lack of campaign funds unlike the UNP which is attracting serious money from the private sector.

In the best case for the UPFA, our correspondent expects the UPFA to win the districts of Gampaha, Kalutara, Matale, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Ampara (Digamadulla), Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Moneragala and Ratnapura. The UPFA would end up with 93 against the UNP’s 98.

In the best case for the UNP, the party will win Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Hambantota, Ampara (Digamadulla) Trincomalee, Puttalam, Polonnaruwa, Badulla and Kegalle. The UNP will get 104 compared to 87 for the UPFA.

In both scenarios, the TNA is expected to secure 13 seats, EPDP 1 and a smaller Tamil party 1. The JVP could end up with 14. The Muslim Congress and the ACMC will get about five between themselves apart from their candidates contesting as UNP candidates in several districts.

One of the most deciding factors at this election will be the voter turnout. Between the January 2010 presidential election and the parliamentary elections that followed in April 2010, the turnout dropped from 74.5 percent to 59.31 percent.

A higher turnout favours the UNP, while a lower turnout is bad for the UPFA at the August 17 vote. However, in the event of a very low turnout as in the case of the 2010 parliamentary elections, these projections could change.

These forecasts assume that there will be no major change in the political landscape and does not take into account political assassinations, bomb blasts or any form of violence that could directly impact the elections as in November 1999, when President Chandrika Kumaratunga survived a suicide bomb attack and went onto win an election she was widely expected to lose, up to the point of the bombing.

A district by district breakdown of possible outcomes will be sent to readers, who are subscribing to EconomyNext’s daily Executive Brief. (Colombo/Aug10/2015)



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