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Monday 18 June 2018
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Nacta puts PNM ahead in by-elections

UPDATE:

People’s National Movement (PNM) is ahead of the United National Congress (UNC) in the lead-up to by-elections in Belmont East and Barataria on July 16. These are the findings of an ongoing tracking opinion poll being done by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA). The poll discovered that although a large majority of voters are dissatisfied with the governance of the PNM and believet they are worse off today than they were three years ago under the former UNC government, the PNM is still ahead in both by-elections.

The PNM is “coasting” in Belmont East. In Barataria, the PNM is ahead of the UNC, but facing some opposition. This district is considered marginal. NACTA said there is “virtually no support for other parties.” The Movement for Social Justice said it will not be contesting the by-elections, and the People’s Empowerment Party yesterday announced Christoph Samlal as its candidate in Barataria.

The likeability and popularity of deceased PNM councillors Pernell Bruno (Barataria) and Darryl Rajpaul (Belmont East) are helping the PNM with sympathy votes to retain both seats. At the time of his death, Bruno was rated among the most liked political representatives in the country. Almost every Barataria voter gave him a thumbs-up, saying he serviced them “effectively and efficiently” – giving an almost perfect rating for a politician. Bruno was described as “a boss of a representative” by supporters of both PNM and UNC. Voters say they are disappointed that the by-election for Barataria was not called earlier. But the late election is not affecting support for the PNM, as supporters are sticking with their party in this seat as well as in Belmont East.

Supporters of the UNC, on the other hand, are disgruntled that there has not been a shadow representative to “work the seats.” The findings of the survey reveal UNC supporters are not as politically enthusiastic towards their party as supporters of the PNM towards theirs. Voters said while the PNM has been canvassing over the last couple of weeks, there has not been corresponding UNC activism. The late selection of candidates is hurting the UNC. The PNM selected its candidate for both districts (Kimberly Rae-Ann Small and Nicole Young) since April and they have been “working the ground,” while the UNC was yet to screen potential candidates (through June 10) for both seats. On Sunday, the UNC selected Sharon Maraj-Dharam and Lianna Babb-Gonzales as its respective candidates for Barataria and Belmont East

There is no crossover ethnic support for either party. Almost half of the voters are not pleased with either party, lacking confidence in both to solve issues. Voter apathy is widespread not only in both local government constituencies but throughout the country as well. People are not animated to vote for either party and instead are more concerned about daily survival. Voter turnout for both by-elections is projected to be minimal.

Whichever party can get their supporters out to the polling stations will have the advantage of winning the seats. Right now, the PNM seems better organised on the ground. It also enjoys the advantages of incumbency and resources. The UNC, voters say, has virtually no presence in Belmont East and limited campaign infrastructure in Barataria. The UNC is also affected by division in the camp. But with elections six weeks away, anything can play in Barataria.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

THE People's National Movement (PNM) is ahead of the United National Congress (UNC) in the lead-up to by-elections in Belmont East and Barataria on July 16.

These are the findings of an ongoing tracking opinion poll being done by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA).

The poll discovered that although a large majority of voters are dissatisfied with the governance of the PNM and believe they are worse off today than they were three years ago under the former UNC government, the PNM is still ahead in both by-elections.

The PNM is "coasting" in Belmont East. In Barataria, the PNM is ahead of the UNC, but facing some opposition. This district is considered marginal.

NACTA said there is "virtually no support for other parties." The Movement for Social Justice said it will not be contesting the by-elections, and the Progressive Empowerment Party yesterday announced Cristoph Samlal as its candidate in Barataria.

The likeability and popularity of deceased PNM councillors Pernell Bruno (Barataria) and Darryl Rajpaul (Belmont East) are helping the PNM with sympathy votes to retain both seats. At the time of his death, Bruno was rated among the most liked political representatives in the country. Almost every Barataria voter gave him a thumbs-up, saying he serviced them “effectively and efficiently” – giving an almost perfect rating for a politician. Bruno was described as “a boss of a representative” by supporters of both PNM and UNC.

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