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Press Release

NPP/JVP maintains lead in voting intentions, with continuing increase in SJB support
IHP MRP General Election Voting Intentions Update January 2024

The latest estimates from IHP’s revised SLOTS MRP model (revised 01/2024) show no substantial change in General Election voting intentions in January 2024 compared to the previous month. NPP/JVP continues to maintain a lead with 40% of Sri Lankan adult voters (-1 since previous month). The SJB leads the rest at 30% (+2), the SLPP at 8% (NC), the UNP at 6% (-1), and ITAK at 4% (NC). The January estimates are provisional and are associated with a margin of error of 1.0–3.6% for the four leading parties.

These estimates are based on the Jan. 2024 revision of the IHP SLOTS Multilevel Regression and Poststratification (MRP) model, which smoothed monthly changes and reduced monthly fluctuations due to sampling noise. Unlike previous months which highlighted voting intent in likely voters, these estimates are for all adults. IHP is working on improving its likely voter model and will resume release of voting intent in likely voters in a future update. But it should be noted that differences in voting intent shares between all adults and likely voters have typically been 1–2% for most estimates in the past two years.

This January 2024 update is based on 15,590 interviews conducted with adults across Sri Lanka since Oct. 2021, with 506 interviews carried out in Jan. 2024. IHP’s SLOTS MRP methodology first estimates the relationship between a wide variety of characteristics about respondents and their opinions – in this case, "If there was a General Election today, which party would you vote for"– in a multilevel statistical model. It then uses a large data file that is calibrated to the national population to predict voting intent in each month since Oct. 2021, according to what the multilevel model says about their probability of voting for various parties (‘post-stratification’) at each point in time. The multilevel model was estimated 100 times to reflect underlying uncertainties in the model and to obtain margins of error.

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. 

Methodology details

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 and face-to-face interviews. IHP estimates voting intent using an adaptation of Multilevel Regression and Post-Stratification (MRP), with multiple imputations to account for uncertainties in its modelling, exploiting data from all SLOTS interviews to estimate voting in a particular month. 

The January 2024 MRP estimates are based on 506 interviews conducted in January 2024, and 15,590 interviews conducted overall from 1 October 2021–26 February 2024, with a margin of error assessed as 0.4–1.4% for the UNP, SLPP, SLFP, ITAK, SLMC, CWC, and 2.6–3.6% for NPP/JVP, SJB and the “other” parties. The January update uses a revised model, so estimates will be smoother and will differ a little from previous estimates. A total of 100 stochastic simulations were used in the modelling to estimate margins of error.

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 survey has previously 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. Current fieldwork is financed by the IHP Public Interest Research Fund and others. The sponsors play no role in the study design, analysis, or interpretation of findings. Furthermore, the survey findings do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of past and present funders. Interested parties can contact IHP for more detailed data and results.


Date: 28 February 2024
Time: 11:59 PM Sri Lanka Time


Email: info ‘at’


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