Jokowi expected to win Indonesia’s April election

Indonesian President Joko Widodo at a second debate for the elections. (Bloomberg pic)

JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo is expected to win a second term in the April 17 presidential election as he leads against rival Prabowo Subianto, according to the latest Roy Morgan opinion poll published Friday.

Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, had the support of 58% of Indonesians, up five percentage points from the 2014 election, while backing for Subianto was down five points to 42%, a survey of 1,039 electors in January showed.

Jokowi leads in most areas, especially in rural regions. He is in front in his home province Central Java with 74.5% support and also has a strong endorsement in East Java, Bali, the northern provinces of Sumatra and on the island of Sulawesi.

Backing for Subianto is concentrated in his home province of West Java and capital Jakarta, where he leads with 57%, the poll shows.

The strong support for Jokowi is hardly surprising as the country has been the second-best performing G20 economy, after China, for many years, with average growth of around 5% during his term, Roy Morgan Chief Executive Officer Michele Levine said in a statement.

“The strong performance of the Indonesian economy over the last five years, and the exceptional confidence expressed by everyday Indonesians over the last year are certainly strong pointers to the success of President Jokowi’s political leadership heading towards the April presidential election,” Levine said.

Results of the poll also reveal that Jokowi has greater support from female voters, with 61% support. Men favour Jokowi as well, but by a narrower margin at 55%. A majority of all age groups back the president, with the highest approval coming from Indonesians aged 25 to 49.

The positive endorsement for Jokowi translates well for his party, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle. Roy Morgan projects it will secure 40.5% support of Indonesians in legislative elections on the same day, while Subianto’s Gerindra Party is estimated to grab 25%.