HEADLINES

Amidst Election Fever, Polls Show T&T Political Parties In Dead Heat

ROWLEY KAMLA

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, May 24, 2015 – As Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar today marks her fifth anniversary in office, a Nigel Henry poll commissioned by the Trinidad Express shows the upcoming general elections due later this year too close to call.
In an interview published in today’s Trinidad’s Sunday Express, Persad-Bisessar said she says the past five years “have taught me a great deal, and really validates the old saying that you’re never too old to learn.”
“In all that I have learned, I am more resolute now than ever before that my decisions must always be based on listening and consulting with the people, and must always be in the best interest of Trinidad and Tobago. People and country first, and that’s non-negotiable. I think the polls showed that my decisions to fire Ministers did not result in loss of support but instead boosted support.
The tenure of Persad-Bissessar’s Government expires next month – June 17 – when Parliament is dissolved.
However, the country’s first woman Prime Minister, told a town meeting last week that she would reveal the election date when Parliament is prorogued. The election is constitutionally due by September 17.
“I am proud of the Government’s record and the fact that we are well on course to achieving our vision of prosperity for all citizens.The remarkable achievements of my Government have been a great source of content for me, even though, I must confess, I am always insistent that there is much more to be done.
My Government’s biggest achievements, I would say has mainly been working to address the nationwide neglect that I fought against in previous years,” The Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister told the Express.
She added “There has been an unprecedented level of improvement and delivery throughout T&T in infrastructure, in health care, in education and training, in job creation, in the management of the economy, in the reducing of crime, in good governance and transparency.
While there has been considerable progressive development in these areas we have also kept inflation and food prices under control, reduced unemployment and restored growth to the economy.
Nonetheless there is still so much to do; that is why we need a second term to continue the progressive development that we have been undertaking.
In the meantime, a Nigel Henry poll commissioned by the Trinidad Express Newspapers has shown the upcoming elections in a near dead heat with five seats “too close to call.”
A summary of the poll indicates that “ this opinion poll of 1,035 voters finds the general election race is too close to call, with the People’s National Movement (PNM) and the People’s Partnership coalition each ahead in 18 seats, and five seats too close to call.
The undecided rate has continued to rise and is now at 38 per cent.
The job approval rating of the Prime Minister continues to rise and has now returned to its 2011 level of 54 per cent although confidence in her Government continues to lag conside¬rably behind.
Confidence in public institutions continues to be pessimistic, with the health and legal institutions meeting the most disapproval. The country continues to be unanimously concerned with the crime situation, with concern about corruption close behind.
Those who disapprove of Rowley’s suspension over the Emailgate allegations far outnumber those who approve. However, only 14 per cent of voters say the allegations have any impact on their vote, one way or another, with 67 per cent saying their choice is unaffected by the entire affair.
The 2015 General Election Race
Solution by Simulation projected the standing of the parties in each of the 41 constituencies, based on the opinions of voters polled in the 384 key swing polling divisions.
The race is proving to be a “nail-bi¬ter”, with each party with a clear lead in 18 seats and five seats too close to call. The Independent Liberal Party (ILP) and other parties have no statistical likelihood to win any seats at the current time.
The People’s Partnership (PP) has a lead over the PNM in the overall national vote, however, these supporters are disproportionately concentrated in 18 seats, leading to the tied vote on a constituency basis.
Note: This article was originally published on May 24, 2015 on http://www.trinidadexpress.com. It has been edited and republished by News Jamaica. The original version can be read here.

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