Last update: 08-Dec-2013 4:55 am
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PNM has the edge
Guardian Media Ltd conducted an opinion poll on October 19 and 20 in the constituency of St Joseph using the in-person random sample intercept method. This poll is being tracked against the one that was published in the Sunday Guardian on October 20. A total of 600 questionnaires were administered and the margin of error was calculated at plus or minus four per cent. The survey was conducted in 12 polling divisions as follows:
1030–Mt D’Or Govt School, LP 22, Mt D’Or Road, Champs Fleurs
1041–Mount Hope Secondary School, Maingot Street, Mount Hope
1075–San Juan Boys RC School, Cemetery Street, San Juan
1470–Aranguez Hindu School, Chootoo Street, Aranguez
1485–Mt Lambert RC School, 8th Street, Mt Lambert
1490–Mt Lambert RC School, 8th Street, Mt Lambert
1496–Cipriani Labour College, Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, Valsayn
1500–Bamboo Grove Presbyterian School, Bamboo Settlement No 1, Uriah Butler Highway
1507–Curepe Community Centre, Saldenah Terr, Off Southern Main Road, Curepe
1510–St Joseph Govt Primary School, Cor Abercromby & Market Street, St Joseph
1515–St Joseph’s College, 1 Richmond Street, St Joseph
1525–St Joseph Girls’ RC Primary School, Richmond Street, St Joseph
These polling divisions were chosen on the basis of seeking clusters of the most marginal outcomes from the 2010 general election results together with the offset of strong polling divisions for the PNM and the UNC using the same 2010 results. This methodology produced a geographical spread that was representative of the layout of the constituency, and approximately 50 questionnaires were administered in each polling division.
Variables for consideration
It must be noted that there were variables to be considered in respect of the collection of the data over the period October 19 to 20. The variables considered were as follows:
The major political parties held their final rallies for the local government elections on October 19. All of the candidates contesting this by-election filed their nomination papers on October 14, 2013. The campaigning for the local government elections came to an end on October 20.
How will your vote in the local government elections on October 21 be impacted by the announcement of candidates for the St Joseph by-election?
Remain the same–36.7 per cent
Don’t know–38.4 per cent
Not sure–19.5 per cent
Change party choice–5.2 per cent
Other–0.2 per cent
This question sought to link the nomination of candidates for the St Joseph by-election and the likely intentions of voters for the local government elections. While “Remain the same” (36.7 per cent) and “Change party choice” (5.2 per cent) yielded significantly different response rates, the fact that “Don’t know” and “Not sure” accounted for 57.9 per cent combined suggested that there was definite uncertainty about the impact of by-election candidates on voter preferences for the local government elections.
Do you believe that the COP should have been allowed to participate in the televised debates organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission?
YES–45.3 per cent
NO–29.9 per cent
Don’t know–22.8per cent
Not sure–2.0 per cent
The Trinidad and Tobago Debates Commission (TTDC) made a decision to exclude the Congress of the People (COP) from the debates for the local government elections. While a plurality (45.3 per cent) felt that the COP should have been allowed to participate, there were statistically significant responses against it (29.9 per cent) together with uncertainty in the minds of respondents (Don’t know/Not sure–24.8 per cent) which indicated no substantially strong feelings on the matter.
Do you support the decision of the Prime Minister to substitute Prakash Ramadhar for the leaders’ debate because of the exclusion of the COP from the debates?
YES–27.5 per cent
NO– 4.3 per cent
Don’t know–7.8 per cent
Not sure–0.3 per cent
64.3per cent of the survey did not agree with the decision of the Prime Minister to substitute Prakash Ramadhar for her in the leaders’ debate on October 15. Despite the mixed feelings about the COP being excluded as seen in the question before, there was a clear majority feeling that she ought not to have replaced herself with Prakash Ramadhar for the debate.
Who were the best and worst performers in the national debate held by the Debates Commission on October 10?
Akins Vidale MSJ–4.0 per cent
Colm Imbert PNM–10.4 per cent
Suruj Rambachan UNC–13.2 per cent
Ken Roach ILP–0.0 per cent
Not sure–66.7 per cent
Did not see/view the debate–5.0 per cent
Colm Imbert/Suruj Rambachan tie–0.5 per cent
Akins Vidale/Suruj Rambachan tie–0.2 per cent
Akins Vidale MSJ–0.0 per cent
Colm Imbert PNM–0.2 per cent
Suruj Rambachan UNC–0.2 per cent
Ken Roach ILP–6.1 per cent
Not sure–88.5 per cent
Did not see/view the debate–5.0 per cent
This question attempted to measure public opinion on the performances of the party representatives in the debate during the local government elections campaign. Most respondents felt unsure about rating the debate either because they did not see it (5.0 per cent) , or they could not form a conclusive view about the debate that was either positive (66.7 per cent) or negative (88.5 per cent). In the circumstances, one may conclude that the debate performances were of little significance to a large majority of respondents.
How would you rate the performance of the People’s Partnership Government to date?
Very good–1.7 per cent
Good–22.3 per cent
Fair–35.2 per cent
Poor–36.7 per cent
Very Poor–4.2 per cent
This question was asked the week before so that these responses could be tracked. In the previous survey more people felt that the Government’s performance was “Poor/Very poor” (46.0 per cent) as opposed to those who felt that it was “Good/Very good” (26.3 per cent). That finding was altered in this survey as 40.9 per cent felt that their performance was “Poor/Very poor,” which was a reduction from the week before, and 24.0 per cent felt it was “Good/Very good,” which was a decrease from the week before.
The critical statistic which was the 27.2 per cent “Fair” rating that was earned the week before, increased to 35.2 per cent which represents an increased body of voters who could be swayed one way or another.
How would you rate the performance of the PNM as an Opposition to date?
Very Good–3.3 per cent
Good–23.3 per cent
Fair–15.7 per cent
Poor–44.2 per cent
Very poor–13.5 per cent
In the same way that the performance of the Government was measured, the performance of the Opposition was also tracked. In the previous survey more people felt that their performance was “Poor/Very Poor” (57.6 per cent) than those who felt that it was “Good/Very good” (24.9 per cent). That was altered in this survey as 57.7 per cent felt that their performance was “Poor/Very poor,” which is virtually the same as the week before, while 26.6 per cent felt it was “Good/Very good,” which was an increase from the week before.
The critical statistic which was the 17.3 per cent “Fair” rating that they earned before dropped to 15.7 per cent. Comparatively speaking, their performance as an opposition continued to have a higher negative rating than the performance of the Government (46.0 per cent compared to 57.6 per cent last week, compared to 40.9 per cent to 57.7 per cent this week). This can explain the reason for the emergence of a strong third party.
Do you believe that the ILP can become a major force in the politics of Trinidad and Tobago?
YES–37.8 per cent
NO–29.7 per cent
Don’t know–24.2 per cent
Not sure–8.3 per cent
It is apparent that there is an increased body of opinion (37.8 per cent up from 34.6 per cent last week) that thinks that the ILP can become a major force in the politics of Trinidad and Tobago, while there is a reduced level of doubt in the minds of respondents (32.5 per cent Don’t know/Not sure which is down from 37.9 per cent last week).
That reduced unsure element appear to be deciding whether there is a future for the ILP in national politics, while a marginal increase from 27.6 per cent last week to 29.7 per cent this week does not think that the ILP will be a major political force. This is still a matter of debate.
Does it matter to you that Jack Warner belonged to the People’s Partnership Government for three years before he formed the ILP ?
YES–62.8 per cent
NO–20.5 per cent
Don’t know–12.5 per cent
Not sure–4.2 per cent
This question probes, in a non-partisan way, Jack Warner’s involvement with the People’s Partnership Government as something that mattered at all to the respondents. The responses revealed a significant reduction from 86.2 per cent to 62.8 per cent. All the other responses that were statistically insignificant last week (No-6.3 per cent, Don’t know-4.8 per cent and Not sure-2.7 per cent), became statistically significant this week (No-20.5 per cent, Don’t know-12.5 per cent and Not sure-4.2 per cent).
This confirms the view that Jack Warner is still a major factor in the St Joseph constituency.
Which party candidate will you vote for in the by-election on November 4?
UNC–27.0 per cent
ILP–30.8 per cent
PNM–31.5 per cent
Ind./MSJ–0.5 per cent
DNA–0.2 per cent
Don’t know–1.5 per cent
Not sure–6.8 per cent
Will not say–1.3 per cent
Not voting–0.3 per cent
The question of voter preference was tested last week when only the PNM candidate was known. This week, all candidates are known and the coding for the PP that was used last week has been changed to UNC this week. The Independent candidate has the endorsement of the MSJ and is coded accordingly. Last week, there was a statistical deadheat between the PNM and the PP (31.4 per cent to 31.2 per cent) with the ILP in third with a rating of 24.6 per cent.
This week, the PNM have virtually remained where they were (31.5 per cent up from 31.4 per cent). The ILP has increased from 24.6 per cent to 30.8 per cent, while the UNC earned a rating of 27.0 per cent which was down from the 31.2 per cent earned by the PP when that coding was used. With a margin of error of +/- 4per cent, it is apparent that this is still a close race.
In casting your vote, what will be your main reason for your choice?
Political leader–13.3 per cent
Candidate–17.0 per cent
Party loyalty–12.0 per cent
Need for change–34.5per cent
Need to retain the Government–14.2per cent
Don’t know–0.7 per cent
Not sure–8.3 per cent
Last week, the largest response was the “Need for change” which accounted for 40.0 per cent of the survey. That was reduced to 34.5 per cent this week. Last week, the second largest response was the “Need to retain the Government” which got a rating of 17.3 per cen. However, that declined to third place with a rating of 14.2 per cent. Party loyalty declined from 16.9 per cent to 12.0 per cent and the “Political leader” increased from 12.5 per cent to 13.3 per cent.
The choice of “Candidate” rose significantly from 9.5 per cent to 17.0 per cent, while “Don’t know/Not sure” increased from 3.5 per cent combined to 9.0 per cent combined. The decline in the “Need for change” from 40.0 per cent to 34.5 per cent might be diluted in a three-party race between two strong opposing parties under the first-past-the-post system of election.
Given the fact that the “Need to retain the Government” declined as well from17.3 per cent to 14.2 per cent meant that both the need for change and the retention of the Government met another competing force in the shift in public opinion. The most significant shift was the increase from 9.5 per cent to 17.0 per cent for the choice of candidate. That tells its own story.
People choosing the UNC classified by ethnicity-Week One (People’s Partnership)
Afro–3.0 per cent
Indo–21.8 per cent
Mixed–10.6 per cent
Syrian/Lebanese–0.3 per cent
Week Two (UNC)
Afro–2.0 per cent
Indo–21.4 per cent
Mixed–6.0 per cent
Other–0.7 per cent
People choosing the ILP classified by ethnicity-Week One
Afro–8.0 per cent
Indo–10.4 per cent
Mixed–9.5 per cent
Afro–9.5 per cent
Indo–11.7 per cent
Mixed–11.7 per cent
Chinese–0.9 per cent
People choosing the PNM classified by ethnicity-Week One
Afro–21.9 per cent
Indo–2.6 per cent
Mixed–10.9 per cent
Afro–20.3 per cent
Indo–3.2 per cent
Mixed–12.1 per cent
In analysing the preferences of respondents by ethnicity in this multi-ethnic constituency, it is apparent that the ILP made increased inroads into traditional UNC and PNM voter blocs. Traditionally, the UNC (representing the PP here) has been able to win a large majority of Indo-Trinidadian voters. Traditionally, the PNM has been able to win a majority of Afro-Trinidadian voters. Mixed-race voters have not had a clear preference ratio when compared to Afro- and Indo-voters.
The presence of the ILP has caused almost evenly balanced responses across ethnicities in their choice of this party when cross-tabulations were undertaken for this week’s survey. The split between the Afro-voters’ preference for the PNM (21.9 per cent) and the Indo-voters preference for the PP (21.8 per cent) virtually offset each other last week. That trend continued this week with the split being PNM (20.3per cent) and the UNC (21.4 per cent).
Last week, the split between the PNM and the PP among mixed-race voters was PNM (10.9 per cent) and the PP (10.6 per cent). This week it is PNM (12.1 per cent) and UNC (6.0 per cent). The ILP’s rating with Afro-respondents increased from 8.0 per cent to 11.7 per cent, while it increased with Indo-respondents from 10.4 per cent to 11.7 per cent and with Mixed-race respondents from 9.5 per cent to 11.7 per cent. Chinese respondents accounted for 0.9 per cent of ILP responses in this category.
The ILP has made inroads into traditional PNM and UNC support bases which explains their rise in the polls this week. As a consequence, the outcome of the by-election remains too close to call.
The breakdown of the polling data gathered is as follows:
Male–53.7 per cent
Female–46.3 per cent
Afro–32.3 per cent
Indo–36.7 per cent
Mixed–28.7 per cent
Chinese–0.8 per cent
Caucasian–0.3 per cent
Not stated–0.5 per cent
Other–0.7 per cent
18-29–16.3 per cent
30-39–36.0 per cent
40-49–18.5 per cent
50-59–9.8 per cent
60-69–11.8 per cent
70 + - 7.5 per cent
Employed–27.7 per cent
Unemployed–18.3 per cent
Self-employed–8.3 per cent
Retired/pensioner–20.5 per cent
Professional–2.2 per cent
Housewife–17.0 per cent
Student–5.8 per cent
Temporary worker–0.2 per cent
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