Nepali Congress (NC) General Secretary Gagan Thapa looks set to defeat Rajan Bhattarai of CPN-UML by a big margin from the House of Representatives (HoR) constituency of Kathmandu-4.
Setopati reached all the wards of this constituency, where Thapa defeated Bhattarai in the last two elections, on Sunday and talked with over 850 voters.
A whopping 507 (59%) of the 859 voters we talked to said that they voted for the common coalition candidate Thapa. Just 232 (27%) said that they voted for Bhattarai, 39 (4.5%) for Thakur Mohan Shrestha of RPP, and 81 for other candidates.
Thapa was elected with 21,508 votes in 2017 ahead of Bhattarai (18,140) who was supported by CPN (Maoist Center) as part of the left alliance with promise of post-electoral unification.
Thapa seems set to significantly increase that margin this time. The change in coalition this time, no doubt, has made it easier for Thapa but his self-declaration as contender for the post of prime minister (PM) seems to be the main reason for increase in his votes.
Many voters told Setopati that they have hope on Thapa as he has challenged PM Sher Bahadur Deuba for the post of PM.
Those voting for Thapa includes 30 first-time voters while Bhattarai's tally of 232 includes only 29 new voters.
The 507 voters who said they voted for Thapa include 272 who said that they had voted for Thapa even in 2017 while 116 of the 232 voters who voted for Bhattarai had voted for him even in 2017.
Setopati also asked the 859 respondents who they voted for in the Proportional Representation (PR) electoral system. A total of 196 voters said that they voted for NC while 179 said they voted for Rastriya Swatantra Party led by Rabi Lamichhane and 136 for UML.