Poll finds lack of interest among population in elections

Dear Editor,

 

An opinion poll conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (Nacta) in late November showed a general lack of interest among the population in elections at this juncture. People were more interested in the hustle and bustle of life and in taking care of themselves and their families rather than worry about the upcoming 2015 elections that were triggered by the opposition’s proposed no-confidence motion and the prorogation of parliament by President Ramotar. Nevertheless, the poll found a greater percentage of likely voters planning to support the incumbent PPP than the opposition APNU and AFC.

However, the PPP is well short of a majority to pass bills in the Assembly, and is, therefore, likely to face the same difficulties it experienced over the last three years – logjam in parliament stifling development. A Nacta poll conducted last October also revealed similar findings with the AFC trailing APNU which was several points behind the PPP. With some 13% to 15% of voters still undecided, the election can go either way. But the PPP has a good chance of regaining its majority – if it can capture just half of the undecideds.

The findings of the latest poll are obtained from interviews with 410 voters to yield a demographically representative sample (44% Indians, 30% Africans, 16% Mixed, 9% Amerindians, and 1% other races) of the population. The poll was conducted in face-to-face interviews and was coordinated by New York-based pollster Dr Vishnu Bisram.

The results of the poll were analyzed at a 95 per cent significance level with a statistical sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Asked how they would vote in the next general election, 44% said PPP, 36% APNU, 4% AFC, 1% others, and 15% saying they were undecided. In the October survey with 650 voters, the PPP scored 45% while APNU got 37%, AFC 5% and JFAP and others 2%.

The polls revealed that the PNC has largely held on to its traditional base with some losses. The PPP has recovered some of the support it lost to the AFC in 2011mes. However, while recovering support in some areas, the PPP has lost some of its regular support to the AFC in other areas. But the AFC has not been making gains since 2011. The AFC and other parties are encouraged to commission independent polls to determine areas where they are making gains and losing support.

The survey also queried people on their views on domestic abuse and suicide and measured the approval ratings of President Ramotar and Opposition Leader David Granger.

% Racial Breakdown of People Polled

 

Race      Percentage

 

Indian                                  43

African                                 31

Mixed                                  16

Amerindians                         9

Others                                    1

 

Support for Parties in November

 

Party                                     %

PPP                                        44

APNU                                    36

AFC                                        04

Others                                    01

Undecided                              15

 

Yours faithfully,
Vishnu Bisram

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