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Sajith Premadasa and AK Dissanayake tied with 39% support in Presidential Election voting intent in April 2024
IHP MRP Presidential Election Voting Intentions Update April 2024

IHP’s Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) MRP provisional estimates of Presidential Election voting intent in Apr. 2024 show support for NPP/JVP leader AK Dissanayake dropped to 39% (-6) levelling with SJB leader Sajith Premadasa. Support for Pres. Ranil Wickremesinghe increased to 13% (+3) whilst a generic SLPP candidate trailed at 9% (+1). 


These estimates use the IHP SLOTS Multilevel Regression and Poststratification (MRP) model (01/2024 revision). This update is for all adults and uses data from 17,134 interviews conducted from Oct. 2021 to 19 May 2024, including 444 interviews during April 2024. 100 bootstraps were run to capture model uncertainty. Margins of error are assessed as 1–4% for April.

Dr. Rannan-Eliya, the SLOTS polling director, commented: “The SLOTS polling in April suffered from a lower response rate owing to the New Year holidays, and we think this may have skewed the sample in favour of SJB supporters. The early May interviews partly compensated for this, and it’s possible that our June interviews may result in further revisions to our model estimates.”

Dr. Rannan-Eliya also commented: “We’ve been asked about some other recent internet polls that showed much higher levels of support for the NPP/JVP. We think these over-estimate NPP/JVP support. SLOTS routinely collects data from all respondents on whether they have internet access, and whether they are willing to participate in an internet survey. These data show that NPP/JVP supporters are far more likely to have internet access and even more likely to be willing to respond to internet surveys, and this difference remains even after controlling for past voting behaviour. Our data indicates internet polls may overestimate NPP/JVP support by about 10%, and for this kind of reason we have previously decided that the time is not right to do internet polling.”

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 Presidential Election today, who would you vote for?’– in a multilevel statistical model that also smooths month to month changes. 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. 


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 April 2024 MRP estimates are based on 17,134 interviews conducted from 1 October 2021–19 May 2024, including 444 interviews conducted in April 2024. The margin of error is assessed as 3.0–3.3% for AK Dissanayake, Sajith Premadasa and 1.0–1.7% 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 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: 30 May 2024
Time: 02:00 PM Sri Lanka Time


Email: info ‘at’


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