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Press Release

AK Dissanayake leads in Presidential Election voting preferences on 50%, with Sajith Premadasa on 33% of all adults in December
IHP MRP Presidential Election Voting Intentions Update December 2023

IHP’s Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS) MRP estimates of Presidential Election voting intent in December 2023 show NPP/JVP leader AK Dissanayake on 50% of all adults, ahead of Sajith Premadasa, the SJB leader, with 33%, Pres. Ranil Wickremesinghe on 9% and a generic SLPP candidate on 8%. 

Support for the NPP/JVP leader has increased 14 points since mid-2023, with the December estimates suggesting a possible drop in that month. Support for SJB leader Sajith Premadasa has increased 3 points since Sep. 2023 with a rising trend in that time. Support for Pres. Ranil Wickremesinghe has declined in the same six months. 

This update is for all adults and is based on a revised MRP model using data from 14,941 interviews conducted from Oct. 2021 to 7 January 2024, with 522 interviews during Dec. 2023. IHP will resume reporting voting intent amongst likely voters at a later date. 100 model iterations were run to capture model uncertainty. Margins of error are assessed 1–4% for December.

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 December 2023 MRP estimates are based on 522 interviews conducted in December 2023, and 14,941 interviews conducted overall from 1 October 2021–7 January 2024, 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 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 January 2024
Time: 12:01 AM Sri Lanka time


Dalreen Barthelot
Email: dalreen ‘at’


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