The AIADMK's tally in Tamil Nadu's assembly would plummet by half if the state went to elections today, around a year after party stalwart J Jayalalithaa's demise, according to an India Today-Karvy Insights opinion poll.
The ruling AIADMK, the poll showed, would get no more than 68 of the 234 assembly seats as compared to the 135 it won in the 2016 assembly elections under Amma's leadership.
If state elections were held today, the DMK and its allies -- the Congress and the IUML -- would together secure 130 constituencies, with a vote share of 34 percent, the survey suggested. In 2016, the DMK won 88 seats on its own.
In what could be an impressive debut of superstar Rajinikanth in politics, the 67-year-old actor is expected to bag 33 seats for his party, according to the poll.
Around 65 percent of the surveyed voters feel Jayalalithaa's passing has plunged Tamil Nadu into a political vaccum.
A majority of respondents also see significant deterioration in the quality of governance after her death in December 2016. More than half feared that AIADMK could eventually disintegrate.
The AIADMK, the poll showed, was faced with a momentous challenge of retaining its voter base. One out of its every three supporters in the 2016 elections has decided not to vote for the AIADMK this time around, the survey found.
Around 60 percent of this block of dissatisfied voters turned towards Rajinikanth and another 26 percent towards the DMK, the poll data revealed.
The DMK also appeared to be witnessing some shift in its voter-base -- but not as much as the AIADMK -- in favour of the superstar.
Rajinikanth, the poll showed, had 16 percent of the total vote share to his credit even as the actor had yet to formally name his party.
However, a majority of respondents expressed concern that Rajinikanth's non-Tamilian origins might work against him in Tamil Nadu politics, which he would need to counter.
Also, more than half of the respondents weren't convinced about his ability to fill Tamil Nadu's "political vacuum" and that probably explains why DMK voter-base might have grown.
Half of the respondents the poll interviewed in Tamil Nadu rated MK Stalin as the most preferred chief minister if the elections were to happen today.
Rajinikanth has emerged as the second most-preferred choice for the top job in the state though with a substantial gap between him and the DMK leader.
However, the poll shed light on what appears to be gloomy prospects for AIADMK politicians, who trailed Rajinikanth in the CM's index.
No clear picture emerged on the question as to who could qualify as the true inheritor of Jayalalithaa's legacy. According to the poll, O Panneerselvam has an edge over CM EK Palaniswami but without a firm consensus amongst respondents.
More than 30 percent of them felt no one from the existing faction-ridden AIADMK leadership -- including Panneerselvam, Palaniswami, TTV Dhinakaran -- could take forward Amma's legacy.
A majority of respondents -- 64 percent -- rated the performance of EK Palaniswami either as "poor" or as "very poor".
colleges, hospitals, industries and farmers.
In the survey, M Karunanidhi has been voted the best chief minister of Tamil Nadu so far, backed 29 percent of the respondents, followed by MGR and J Jayalalithaa with 25 percent and 21 percent of votes respectively.
A total of 4,758 interviews were conducted across 77 assembly constituencies in the state. Overall, 33 per cent of the total 234 assembly constituencies in the state were covered with representation from all 39 parliamentary constituencies.