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PP, Kamla lead the race
As voters gear up to head to the polls tomorrow, the UWI Constitutional Affairs and Parliamentary Studies Unit (Capsu) poll is showing the People’s Partnership leading the race.
According to the poll, released last week, the PP enjoys an overall lead of 6.9 per cent over the People’s National Movement (PNM) in the marginals of La Horquetta/Talparo, Point Fortin, St Joseph, Toco/Sangre Grande, San Fernando West and Tunapuna.
However, the poll’s constituency by constituency breakdown shows the PNM has a 3.9 per cent edge over the PP in the crucial marginal of San Fernando West.
The PP has a clear lead in the other marginals—La Horquetta/Talparo (7.2 per cent), Point Fortin (13 per cent), St Joseph (12.7 per cent), Toco/Sangre Grande (3.8 per cent), and Tunapuna (8.3 per cent).
These six marginals are expected to be the seats that will determine which party triumphs at the polls to form the next government.
The poll conducted by political scientist and Capsu co-ordinator Dr Hamid Ghany as lead analyst and Dr Maukesh Basdeo as second analyst between August 21 and 24, two weeks ago, said 42.3 per cent of its respondents indicated that if a general election were called tomorrow, they would vote for the PP, while 35.4 per cent said they would vote for the PNM.
A mere 5.4 per cent of respondents said they would vote for the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) even though the party is not fielding a candidate in each of those constituencies, while 7.5 per cent said they were not sure which party they would vote for, and 9.1 per cent said they did not know for whom they would vote.
The poll also found that PP leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar still enjoyed an edge over PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley as the preferred choice for prime minister.
According to the poll, when asked if a general election were to be held tomorrow whom they would like to see elected as prime minister, 42.4 per cent of respondents said Persad‐Bissessar. Rowley received 35.3 per cent, and Jack Warner received 5.5 per cent. However, 12.6 per cent of respondents said they were not sure whom they would like to see, while 4.0 per cent said they did not know and 0.2 per cent said other.
The poll found that among respondents the key factors influencing voters were party loyalty (18.4 per cent), party manifestos (18.3 per cent), and political leader (17.3 per cent).
Some 14.2 per cent of respondents indicated that the candidate in their area would influence their votes, while 16.8 per cent said the need for change would influence their vote, and 10.3 per cent said the need to retain the government was a factor that would influence them the most.
The question if the general election were held tomorrow, which group or party would you vote for, was asked in all six constituencies and in five the PP had the lead over the PNM.
In La Horquetta/Talparo, 43.6 per cent said the PP, 36.4 per cent said PNM, 4.2 per cent said ILP (even though the party is not fielding a candidate) and 3.4 per cent said they were not sure. Some 12.5 per cent said they did not know whom they would vote for.
In Point Fortin, 48.2 per cent said PP, 35.2 per cent said PNM, 4.4 per cent said ILP (even though there is no candidate) and 4.2 per cent said they were not sure. Some 7.0 per cent said they did not know whom they would vote for.
In San Fernando West, 40.9 per cent of respondents said PNM, 37.0 per cent said PP and 7.3 per cent said ILP, while 14.1 per cent said did not know or not sure.
The PP commanded the lead in St Joseph with 44.3 per cent, followed by the PNM with 31.6 per cent and the ILP with 7.4 per cent even though that party said it would not field a candidate there, and 16.8 per cent being not sure or did not know.
In Toco/Sangre Grande, 43.3 per cent said they would vote for the PP, 39.5 per cent said they would vote for the PNM and 2.0 per cent for the ILP. A total of 15.1 per cent were not sure or did not know.
In Tunapuna, 37.1 per cent said they would vote for PP, 28.8 per cent the PNM and 7.0 per cent for ILP, whereas some 18.4 per cent of respondents said they were not sure, 8.3 per cent did not know, and 0.3 per cent did not state.
Both Toco/Sangre and San Fernando West, according to Ghany, were too close to call because their spreads fell inside the margin of error, while the other four were leaning to the PP.
Demographics and methodology
In the poll, 62.0 per cent of the respondents were female, while 38.0 per cent were male. In terms of ethnicity, 39.2 per cent of those polled were Africans, 38.3 per cent were East Indians, 21.7 per cent were mixed, and 0.8 per cent did not state their ethnicity.
The poll was conducted among 2,328 respondents in the six constituencies using the face-to-face random sample intercept method in selected polling divisions and the margin of error for the cluster of six constituencies was +/- 3 per cent and for these six marginal constituencies individually it ranged between +/- 4.89 and 4.91.
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