POLITICAL analyst Dr Winford James has described the victories by the PNM and UNC in the recently-concluded local government elections as "hollow".
"Improvements in the position of UNC and the loss of ascendancy of the PNM are hollow in relation to how either party can affect the governance of the country. UNC does not have any control of central Government because it has now got seven seats."
Speaking to Newsday in a telephone interview Tuesday James said it was a qualified victory for both parties as each won seven electoral districts. He pointed out the PNM said the party won the most seats and the UNC said it won the popular vote and have gained ground on the PNM by making inroads into territories of the PNM. He stressed there were no overall victories and only if a party won the majority of corporations could they say have won the elections.
He said that while people will view the local government elections as a run-up to next year's general elections, the "victories" both parties are talking about are marginal victories.
"These victories can in no way indicate how the people will vote in the general elections or how the major parties would perform."
James said the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation was the key result in the election in that it away PNM lead and gave the UNC an opportunity to say that they have tied.
"The UNC has not won the election, the PNM has not lost the elections but has lost ground. The PNM has lost ground and UNC has gained ground. Their support is still iron-clad and their race-based support."
He reiterated the local government elections results is not a barometer of what is going to happen later on.