(Jamaica Gleaner) The big green machine being ridden by recently crowned champion jockey Andrew Holness has surged into the lead, gaining six percentage points in the past month, as the party most likely to win the December 29 general election.
But the heavyweight orange machine, ridden by former champion jockey Portia Simpson Miller, is not yet out of the race and, with two furlongs to go before they hit the finish line, it is still anybody’s race.
That’s the finding of the latest Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson public-opinion poll conducted islandwide on December 10 and 12.
Johnson’s team found that if the election were held today, 31 per cent of the voters would put their ‘X’ beside the bell, the symbol of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), while a further five per cent of the voters say they would probably vote JLP.
That gives the Holness-led party a solid 36 per cent support.
For the People’s National Party (PNP), 29 per cent of voters say they would definitely put their ‘X’ beside its symbol, the head. A further three per cent say they would probably vote for the PNP. That leaves the Simpson Miller-led party with 32 per cent support or four percentage points behind the JLP.
With the poll having a sampling error of plus or minus four per cent, the parties are in a statistical dead heat, but what should worry the PNP is that this is the first time it has trailed the JLP in any Gleaner-Johnson poll since 2007.
The PNP’s troubles are compounded by the fact that despite its campaigning over the past month, its support has remained at 32 per cent, which the Johnson team found when it tested the pulse of the nation in November.