In a week in which the economy loomed large, and the parties exchanged rhetorical fire over the Moody's credit ratings downgrade, an H.H.B & Associates poll for Guardian Media Limited has found that the majority of voters in San Fernando West are gloomy to uncertain about T&T's economic prospects.
The greatest share of people polled (46 per cent) felt that "the worst was yet to come," 30 per cent felt that "the worst was behind us" and 24 per cent were uncertain.
During a United National Congress Monday Night Forum in Guaico, Sangre Grande, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar was defiant in response to Moody's concerns about the Government's persistent deficits, a finding seized on by People's National Movement leader Dr Keith Rowley, saying they would continue their development plan.
Communications Minister Vasant Bharath, meanwhile, said: "This Government handled (the economy) prudently. It means that we have taken your ideas on board, we have listened to you, understanding your needs and spending according to what your requirements are."
But the results of the poll suggests the majority of constituents in San Fernando West (SFW) remain uncomfortable about T&T economic future, especially with oil prices continuing to remain at low levels.
As was the case in last week's poll in Tunapuna, voters in SFW also show a lack of enthusiasm for either leader of the two main political parties.
Persad-Bissessar and Rowley were statistically even (30 to 29 respectively) when voters were asked the question who is "acceptable as prime minister," but when pushed on choosing a leader, asked who they consider "acceptable with reservations," Rowley pulled ahead by six percentage points (30 to 24).
Jack Warner (60 per cent) and David Abdulah (77 per cent) had high disapproval ratings but surprisingly 30 per cent chose Warner as "acceptable with reservations."
In on job approval, that is approval of the performance of Persad-Bissessar as Prime Minister and Rowley as Leader of the Opposition, Rowley (58 per cent) has moved ahead of Persad-Bissessar (49 per cent).
It was a second straight week of dismal job approval and personal approval numbers for the Prime Minister, with the San Fernando West findings mirroring those of Tunapuna.
Pollster Louis Bertrand said of his methodology: "A stratified random sample of 300 adults was selected based on the polling divisions (PDs) in the constituency. The PDs were stratified based on the size of the victory of the winning party."
Questionnaires were administered face-to-face by the interviewers. The margin of error was 4.5 per cent.