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Press Release

AK Dissanayake consolidates lead in Presidential Election voting intent
IHP Presidential Election Voting Intentions Update October 2023

IHP’s Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) MRP estimates of Presidential Election voting intent in October 2023 show NPP/JVP leader AK Dissanayake gaining support to half of likely voters (51%), followed by SJB leader Sajith Premadasa with a third (30%), and Pres. Ranil Wickremesinghe on 13%. The generic SLPP candidate is on 6% with little change.


The past four months have seen support for AK Dissanayake consolidating at expense of the three other candidates tested in IHP’s SLOTS polling. 


Dr Rannan-Eliya, SLOTS project director, commented that: “Although polling is a hazardous exercise and our MRP estimates are subject to quite a lot of uncertainties, it does appear that AKD would have likely won a Presidential Election in October even against a joint SJB-UNP ticket. I suspect this is less voters buying the NPP/JVP policy platform and more most voters rejecting the political establishment and business as usual. Establishment parties wanting to compete with the NPP probably need to be doing some serious soul-searching.”

About IHP

IHP is an independent, non-partisan research centre based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The SLOTS lead investigator is Dr Ravi Rannan-Eliya of IHP, who has trained in public opinion polling at Harvard University and has conducted numerous surveys over three decades.


SLOTS combines interviews from a national sample of adults (ages 18 and over) reached by random digit dialling of mobile numbers, and others coming from a national panel of respondents who were previously recruited through random selection. IHP estimates voting intent using an adaptation of Multilevel Regression and Post-Stratification (MRP), with multiple imputation to account for uncertainties in its modelling, exploiting data from all SLOTS interviews to estimate voting in a particular month.
The October 2023 MRP estimates are based on 567 interviews conducted in October 2023, and 13,935 interviews conducted overall from 1 October 2021–12 November 2023, with a margin of error assessed as 3–4% for AK Dissanayake, Sajith Premadasa and 1–2% for Ranil Wickremesinghe and the other potential candidate. All estimates are adjusted to ensure the sample matches the national population with respect to age, sex, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education, geographical location, and voting in the 2019 Presidential and 2020 General Elections.


The SLOTS has been funded by the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), The Asia Foundation in Sri Lanka, and others, but the sponsors play no role in the study design, analysis, or interpretation of findings. Interested parties can contact IHP for more detailed data and results.



Date: 24 November 2023
Time: 12:01 AM Sri Lanka Time


Dalreen Barthelot
Email: dalreen ‘at’


Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya
Email: ravi ‘at’  Twitter: @ravirannaneliya