Indonesia poll projects Prabowo gaining majority votes in presidential election

By Thomson Reuters Feb 8, 2024 | 10:36 PM

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian presidential contender Prabowo Subianto is projected to pip the 50% threshold needed to win the Feb. 14 election in a single round, the latest opinion poll showed on Friday.

Of the 1,200 people surveyed by Indikator Politik Indonesia between Jan. 28 and Feb 4, 51.8% said they would vote for Prabowo’s ticket, while 24.1% and 19.6% would choose rivals Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo respectively.

This election marks the third presidential run for Defence Minister Prabowo, a controversial ex-soldier who was defeated by the popular outgoing President Joko Widodo in 2014 and 2019. About 205 million people are registered to vote.

While most of Indonesia’s most watched surveys have consistently showed Prabowo with a solid lead over rivals, Friday’s poll is the first in which he is projected to get more than 50% of votes.

A run-off will be held in June if no candidate gets more than 50% of votes.

“Conservatively, there is a chance of a run-off. But given the 51.8% and the upward trend for Prabowo’s ticket, I can say the probability of one round has risen…compared to previous surveys,” said Indikator researcher Burhanuddin Muhtadi.

He said the chances of a second round vote were “thinning”.

About 4.5% of those surveyed were undecided. The margin of error of the survey was about 2.9%.

The survey comes as public criticism mounts against Widodo, better known as Jokowi, who has been accused of interference and bias over his implicit support for Prabowo, which his allies have denied.

Critics have complained Jokowi has made appearances at state functions alongside Prabowo, in breach of rules.

Jokowi has not explicitly endorsed any of the three candidates. The president’s son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, is Prabowo’s running mate, owing to a last-minute decision by a court headed by Jokowi’s brother-in-law to change eligibility rules.

Nearly 90% of those surveyed by Indikator said they believed the president supports Prabowo, more so than Anies and Ganjar, who is the candidate of Jokowi’s ruling party.

Jokowi has said he would not campaign for any candidate. Incumbents have typically stayed neutral and Indonesian law permits them to campaign as long as they do not use state resources.

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor, Martin Petty)