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Press Release

Little change in Presidential voting intention in June 2023: AKD 40%, Sajith 35%, Ranil 15%
IHP/SLOTS MRP Presidential Election Voting Intention Update June 2023

The June IHP/SLOTS MRP Presidential Election voting intention poll shows NPP/JVP leader AK Dissanayake with the support of 40% of likely voters (no significant change since May), ahead of SJB leader Sajith Premadasa on 35% (-2), and both well ahead of President Ranil Wickremesinghe on 15% (no change) and a generic SLPP candidate on 9% (+2).

The June 2023 MRP estimates are based on 506 interviews conducted in June 2023, and 11,926 interviews conducted from 1 October 2021 to 20 July 2023, with a margin of error assessed as 1–3% for the various candidates. 

The June polling, which follows four months of similar numbers, suggests that the electorate’s preferences have stabilized since early 2023. Support for President Ranil Wickremasinghe, which had seen a boost in previous months, did not show any further gains in June, whilst support for a generic SLPP candidate continued to rise slowly, albeit from a low base.

Dr Ravi Rannan-Eliya, director of the SLOTS polling, noted that AK Dissanayake is running 17 points ahead of his party’s share in the SLOTS General Election tracker, whilst Sajith Premadasa only picks up an additional 12 points compared to his party, the SJB. He noted that since Sajith Premadasa picks up a disproportionate share of minority voters who would vote for ITAK and others in a general election, this points to a continuing challenge that Mr Premadasa faces in attracting non-SJB voters in the Sinhala electorate.

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 June 2023 MRP estimates are based on 506 interviews conducted in June 2023, and 11,926 interviews conducted from 1 October 2021 to 20 July 2023, with a margin of error assessed as 1–3% for each candidate. As the June update uses a more recent data set than the previous update, there are small changes in estimates of voting shares for previous months. A total of 60 stochastic simulations were used in the modelling to estimate the uncertainty associated with the estimates arising from sampling noise in respondent interviews and uncertainties in the modelling process. 

MRP is a method that is increasingly used by polling firms in other countries to leverage small samples, most notably by YouGov which used it to forecast results of the UK Brexit Referendum and recent UK general elections. 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: 28 July 2023
Time: 01:00 PM


Dalreen Barthelot
Email: dalreen ‘at’


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