The ruling UNC-led Peoples Partnership (PP) government has taken an early lead over the opposition PNM in popular support for Trinidad’s July 26 local government elections according to findings obtained from an opinion survey conducted over the last couple of weeks by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association. The poll was conducted by Vishnu Bisram.
The poll finds that there is virtually no fall in support for the PP since the May 24 general elections which saw the PNM swept out of office although the same type of enthusiasm that brought the PP into government is lacking in the current campaign. Nevertheless, supporters of the PP say they want give it some reasonable amount of time to perform in office and are prepared to vote for it in the local elections. The poll shows that voters want to effect change in the representation in some seats (electoral districts) controlled by the PNM in the local government bodies.
The poll shows the PP leading the PNM by 20% in popular support suggesting the ruling party will trounce the opposition in the local government elections. Based on the findings of the survey, the UNC-led PP coalition will defeat the PNM in the number of seats and local bodies that it will win recording its first victory over the PNM since the UNC was founded in 1989. The PP will win over 85 of the 134 seats in contention.
Asked which party they will vote for, 54% said PP with 34% saying PNM and 12% not sure or are undecided. On the basis of this data, the UNC led PP will hold on to its traditional electoral districts (seats) and even make gains over the PNM in competitive seats while the PNM will struggle to hold on to its traditional seats.
The survey also finds Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar leading Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley by a whopping 33% in approval ratings (71% to 38%).