Prabowo Subianto leads Indonesian Presidential polls

Prabowo Subianto leads in Indonesian presidential poll, potentially securing victory with over 50% support, amid accusations of bias.

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto is poised to surpass the crucial 50% mark required to secure victory in the upcoming Feb. 14 election, according to the latest opinion poll released on Friday.

Conducted by Indikator Politik Indonesia between Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, the survey of 1,200 respondents revealed that 51.8% expressed their intention to vote for Prabowo’s ticket. In comparison, 24.1% and 19.6% indicated support for rivals Anies Baswedan and Ganjar Pranowo, respectively.

This election signifies Defence Minister Prabowo’s third bid for the presidency, following previous defeats to outgoing President Joko Widodo in 2014 and 2019. With approximately 205 million registered voters, the stakes are high.

While preceding polls consistently positioned Prabowo ahead of his competitors, Friday’s survey marks the first instance where he is anticipated to secure over 50% of the vote.

A runoff election in June would ensue if no candidate surpasses the 50% threshold.

Indikator researcher Burhanuddin Muhtadi noted that while the possibility of a runoff remains, the likelihood of a single-round victory for Prabowo has increased, citing the upward trajectory of support for his ticket.

Approximately 4.5% of respondents remained undecided, with the survey’s margin of error estimated at around 2.9%.

The release of the poll coincides with mounting public discontent directed towards President Widodo, who has faced criticism for perceived bias and interference in favour of Prabowo, allegations refuted by his allies.

Critics contend that Jokowi’s appearances alongside Prabowo at state events violate regulations.

Although Jokowi has refrained from explicitly endorsing any candidate, his son Gibran Rakabuming Raka is Prabowo’s running mate, following a last-minute decision by a court presided over by Jokowi’s brother-in-law to alter eligibility criteria.

A significant majority of respondents in the Indikator survey believed that the president favours Prabowo, particularly when compared to Anies and Ganjar, who represents Jokowi’s ruling party.

Jokowi has affirmed his commitment to refrain from campaigning for any candidate, adhering to the precedent of incumbents maintaining neutrality. Indonesian law permits incumbents to engage in campaigning activities as long as state resources are not utilised.