One Year On
dissects the opinion polls
It's been one year since Sheikh Hasina raised her hand to swear an oath to faithfully execute the
duties as Prime Minister of a country of 150 million people. Hasina ran on the promises of change,
hope, and progress. As the reviews of her first twelve months pour in, there seems to be a mixed
reaction on what the public think about her performance.
Recently, The Daily Star-Nielsen conducted an opinion poll among the adult population (18 years
and above, both in rural and urban areas, male and female). In the Opinion Poll 2010, the people of
Bangladesh have given Sheikh Hasina and her government a split decision regarding their first year
Fifty-three percent of the people questioned in the survey released on January 8, 2010 appeared to
be satisfied with Hasina's government while another 12% appeared very satisfied, which together
make 65%. Among those surveyed, 17 percent are dissatisfied while the rest of them are indifferent
to the issue raised and the question asked.
In the survey, Hasina remains personally popular and gets decent ratings on her overall
performance, although Awami League was rated positively within the rage of 50-60%. Around 72%
approved her role as Prime Minister while the rest were either indifferent or disappointed.
The one-year performance of Khaleda Zia as the leader of the opposition was also rated by the
people in this survey. It is evident that although 39% of the people are satisfied, a large number of
them are either dissatisfied (29%), or are indifferent, (23%).
that there would be a very vibrant Parliament that would resolve people's expectations and crisis.
The recent survey indicates the frustration of the people. When asked about the behaviour of the
opposition -- their boycotting the parliament for months for instance -- 75% of them said they are
not satisfied with this attitude. Rather, they said that BNP should join the parliament. Only 4% was
in favour of the opposition's role.
The respondents were also asked to identify the areas which have received topmost attention from
the government. They were asked the same question in three different studies (Exit Poll 2008; 100
days survey; and 1 year survey). In all the studies, responses were similar. They cited the following
as the areas which received topmost attention from the government: (1) price control, (2) food
security, (3) corruption control, (4) law and order situation, (5) education, and (6) power supply.
However, in the 2010 Opinion Poll, respondents rated job creation (19%) as the third most
important issue to the government, which was not made prominent in the earlier surveys.