5 seats too close to call

The “Government Anniversary Poll” was conducted by Henry’s Solution by Simulation firm, from May 11-21, and analysed the opinions of more than 1,000 voters.

Results also showed Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s approval rating continues to rise while those who disapprove of Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley’s suspension over Emailgate far outnumber those who approve.

The poll was commissioned by the Trinidad Express Newspapers.

Its margin of error is plus or minus three per cent.

Following is Part I of the anniversary poll:

Summary

At the fifth anniversary of the People’s Partnership Government, 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 conside­rably 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-bi­ter”, 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.

Prime Minister’s Job Approval 

The Prime Minister’s job approval rating continues to climb from its midterm low of 37 per cent. At 54 per cent, it is now back to its 2011 level. Her disapproval rating also fell from 42 per cent to 37 per cent, giving her a “net approval” rating of +17 per cent, improving from a much closer net approval rating of +6 per cent last year.

Those who approve of the Prime Minister’s performance continue to outnumber those who express confidence in her Government. Only 40 per cent of the population expressed confidence in the Government, up from 21 per cent last year. Even among those who approve of the job the Prime Minister is doing, only 62 per cent express confidence in the Government, with 16 per cent having no confidence, and 22 per cent not sure.

Public Opinion of the Emailgate scandal

The recent suspension of Rowley from the House of Representatives has been met with significant disapproval by the population.

Almost half of voters (47 per cent) disapprove of the suspension, less than one-third approve (30 per cent), and the remainder (23 per cent) have no opinion.

Importantly, a clear majority (52 per cent) of undecided voters do not approve of the suspension, with only 14 per cent of undecided voters approving.

It appears the back-and-forth over the Emailgate issue may end up having very little effect on the election race.

Only 14 per cent of voters say the eventual outcome will affect their vote. The vast majority (67 per cent) claim the issue has no influence on their choice, one way or another, and the remaining 19 per cent are not sure.


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