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Poll predicts PNM win in THA election

CLINT CHAN TACK Thursday, January 5 2017

THE ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) will win the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Elections on January 23. However the PNM may not win all 12 seats in the Assembly as it did in the January 2013 THA Elections.

Three to four seats in the THA could go to the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) b led by Public Services Association (PSA) President Watson Duke, who unsuccessfully contested the Tobago East seat as an independent candidate in the September 7, 2015 General Elections.

The PDP was formed after those elections and this will be its first foray into any national elections in this country.

According to a survey done by HHB Associates Limited ahead of this month’s polls in Tobago.

The results of this survey was based on a telephone same of 300 adults ages 18 years and over between December 17 and 18, 2016 and who are registered to vote. The sample was drawn from all 12 electoral districts in Tobago.

The survey is intended to give an overview of the situation in Tobago as a whole and not to predict the outcome of the elections. HHB Associates explained this is because the survey was done before Nomination Day (Tuesday) so that parties and candidates were not known at the time the survey was conducted.

However the survey’s early prediction is that the PNM is “strongly likely” to win six seats and an additional two in the THA.

The results in one of these seats, Canaan/Bon Accord, seems to be very close between the PNM and the PDP at this time.

The PDP is “strongly likely” to win three seats and possibly a fourth seat which could be Canaan/Bon Accord. Crime (60 percent), unemployment (47 percent) and inflation (33 percent) are the three most important issues in the January 23 polls. Corruption in government only attracts 8.7 percent of voters’ interest while internal self-government for Tobago sits at the bottom of the issue totem pole with only 5.4 percent of respondents interested in it.

Of the 300 persons sampled.

54 percent said they were interested in politics and current affairs compared to 21 percent who are not interested at all and 25 percent who are somewhat uninterested.

On the candidate for THA Chief Secretary, there is “a virtual dead heat” between Duke (37 percent) and PNM Tobago Council leader Kelvin Charles (36 percent).

Incumbent THA Chief Secretary Orville London is not standing for re-election.

Former People’s Partnership (PP) government minister Christlyn Moore (who leads the Tobago Forwards); Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) leader Ashworth Jack and former THA chief secretary Hochoy Charles have higher unfavourability ratings of 53, 61 and 50 percent respectively. When asked who would be the best Chief Secretary, there is a dead heat again between Charles (Kelvin) and Duke, of 23 and 24 percent respectively.

The survey said 30 percent of respondents refused to answer this question. A reasonably high voter turnout is expected on January 23.



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