The findings of an opinion survey conducted by NACTA over the last week show the incumbent People's Partnership (PP) Government has lost support while the PNM has managed to hold on to most of its support, just a year after the coalition won office by a landslide. However, if an election were called now, while the PP is likely to lose several seats, it will still retain office though by a narrow majority. Voters do not see any threat to the Government and they do not view the PNM as a viable alternative. The poll also shows Ministers Jack Warner, Roodal Moonilal, Glenn Ramadharsingh, and Vasant Bharath leading their colleagues in ratings for performance as well as in other measurements.
In a contest for leadership of COP, incumbent Winston Dookeran is preferred by a huge margin. The findings of the poll are obtained from interviews with 740 respondents (45% Indians, 36% Africans, 18% mixed, and 1% others) reflecting the demographics of the population. The poll, conducted over the last week by Vishnu Bisram, has a four per cent margin of error. Asked which minister impresses the most with performance, Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner leads with 41%, followed by Minister of the People Glenn Ramadharsingh with 19%, Agriculture Minister Vasant Bharath with 16%, and Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal with 13%.
Asked which minister or Member of Parliament has shown the most courage in taking on the PNM Opposition and defending Government's decisions, Warner leads with 33% followed closely by Moonilal with 30% and others trailing way behind. Asked which Minister or MP has best handled the weight of high public office while remaining focused and effective, Warner again, leads with 35% followed by Ramadharsingh with 17%, Bharath with 16% and Moonilal with 15%. Asked which minister appears best able to deliver on Government promises, Warner leads with 38% followed by Ramadharsingh with 15%. Which minister so far best represents the ideals of the PP Government? Warner leads with 29% followed by Ramadharsingh and Bharath tied at 18%.
Asked if they think the Government will last its full term, 49% said yes or hope it does last its full term as compared with 35% who said no or hope it does not last, with 16% not sure.
While there is disappointment among some supporters of the PP in the coalition's governance, there is still a reservoir of goodwill for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar with hope she will succeed in implementing the promises made during the campaign and doing things differently from the PNM. Persad-Bissessar is credited with holding the coalition together. If an election were called now, 41% said they will vote PP with PNM getting the nod from 31%. The rest are undecided or will not vote or want an alternative to the two parties. Using the opinions from this week's survey and earlier NACTA polls to project the outcome of an election, the Congress of the People (COP) will only be able to retain the St Augustine seat, losing the others to the PNM. And even in St Augustine, most UNC supporters are not pleased with representation and servicing of the constituency-a recurring complaint about most of the constituencies.
The findings show support for the COP has virtually evaporated from a year ago. The UNC has also lost support but not enough to lose traditional seats if an elections were called now. Asked who they prefer for leadership of the COP, Winston Dookeran leads Anil Roberts 49% to 26% with the others not expressing an opinion. However, very few among those who were polled have voting rights in the COP and as such the findings do not reflect the prospective outcome of the leadership contest.
Selected NACTA polls
Which minister impresses the most with performance
Jack Warner 41
Glenn Ramadharsingh 19
Vasant Bharath 16
Roodal Moonilal 13
Which minister shows the most courage to defend gov't
Jack Warner 33
Anil Roberts 05
Tim Gopeesingh 03
Not Sure 29
Which minister best handles the weight of public office
Jack Warner 34
Which minister best able to deliver on promises
Jack Warner 38
Which minister best represents the ideals of PP
Jack Warner 29