As the country now gears up for campaigning ahead of the 2020 general election, political analysts agree that both major parties—PNM and UNC—will have their work cut out for them, trying to convince the undecideds and independent voters.
According to Dr Winford James, yesterday’s local government election results have cemented the reality that Trinidad and Tobago is a two party country. He says a third political force may never be able to fully impact the political landscape, notwithstanding how many people continue to call for change.
Dr James believes there is a growing number of independent voters who support neither party, and continue to sit on the fence.
“While their numbers are growing,” he explains, “they have not yet reached the critical mass necessary to cause a serious upset in the way elections and politics occur in this country.”
He argues that both major political parties will need to work hard to woo—and win over—the growing number of undecided and independent voters.
And Shane Mohammed observes yesterday's low voter turnout sends a serious message to all political parties, about the population's disenchantment with them.
According to Shane Mohammed, says despite all their positive spin, neither political party can claim any significant victory.
He notes that the estimated 22 per cent participation is even lower than the lowest on record—23 per cent back in 1971, when the population would have been less than half a million people. Fast forward to 2019, an electorate of roughly 1.08 million, out of which only 22 per cent voted, and things do not look good for any political party.
Both men are of the view that the UNC political leader and Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has been handed a political life line, which gives her a boost, heading into the 2020 general election…
They also agree that the PNM political leader and Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, has his work cut out for him over the next nine months, to ensure his party remains in office.
Indeed, Shane Mohammed warns that neither political leader can assume they can continue with old election strategies.
As he puts it:
“Whether we like it or not, there is a population out there that is not going to vote, if they feel that they are not going to be heard, or are not going to get deliverables.”