For immediate release
Mizzima publishes independent pre-poll survey of more than 4,200 Burmese voters
Saturday, 06 November 2010 16:28 Mizzima News
5 November 2010: Delhi, India – On the eve of the first general elections in Burma in over 20 years, Mizzima has released findings of an independent pre-election opinion survey. A total of 4,215 views were collected across 77 townships in 13 Burmese states and divisions. Respondents were drawn from all occupation groups, ethnicities, ages and a wide set of rural and urban locations.
Mizzima commissioned the opinion poll from a specially trained, independent research network based in Rangoon, who conducted the surveys between the October 15 and November 2.
The survey revealed 60% of people plan to vote. The remaining 30% don’t plan to vote, while 10% of people surveyed remain undecided. Around 59% of respondents said they understood how to vote. But 41% of people said that they didn’t understand the Burmese electoral system.
Soe Myint, Editor-in-Chief said: "It is the largest pre-poll survey of its kind conducted by an independent media agency in Burma."
"Independent polls, such as Mizzima’s are important because they can be measured against the reported election result to highlight inconsistencies and problems", he said.
The survey also reveals:
Most people planning to vote, already know how to vote, while the 30% who are not planning to vote, have no knowledge of the voting system even though they are willing to vote.
- 53% of those surveyed will go to vote without sufficient knowledge of their local candidates or the policies of the parties they represent. A further 15% know about their local candidates and parties, but do not know of their policies.
- Most people obtained information about their local parties and candidates from campaign leaflets (37%) and canvassing (23%).
- On average, the National Democratic Front (NDF) is the most favoured party among respondents, followed by the USDP. The 88 Generation Students party is the third most popular party among respondents.
- Overwhelmingly, ethnic minority people surveyed choose an ethnic party as their party of choice, except in Kachin State, where the USDP is the most favoured. An ethnic Kachin party, however, was not allowed to contest the election.
- Among the majority Burman ethnic group, independent candidates are ranked as the third choice.
- People aged 25-40 years plan to vote and have better information about voting than all other age groups.
- Most people found out how to vote from leaflets and state-controlled TV. However, almost a quarter of the sample size said they got information from their friends. To a lesser degree, local journals were also an important source of information for respondents.
- 86% of people surveyed stated they were not afraid to vote.
- 62% of people surveyed felt that is would be possible not to vote, if they didn’t want to.
There are around 29 million eligible voters in Burma. At least 1.5 million voters are excluded because they live in areas the junta has designated too dangerous for voting to occur.
Over 3,100 candidates are standing in the election, representing 37 parties. An estimated five million Burmese live abroad, at least 1.6 million of whom are migrant workers in Thailand, where 145,000 Burmese refugees live in nine camps.
Mizzima is an award-winning independent multimedia agency based in India with offices in Thailand and an extensive network of under-cover journalists inside Burma, producing print, online and TV news and current affairs.
Download PDF version.