The PNM's campaign manager for the 2019 Local Government Elections, says the UNC failed to make any serious inroads into any of the PNM strongholds.
However, Works and Transport Minister, Rohan Sinanan, says the party will be doing some serious analysis of all the results, to determine the way forward for its 2020 general election strategy.
According to Minister Sinanan, one of the key people on the PNM’s strategy team for the recently concluded election, the opposition party was unable to make any impact on the East-West Corridor.
He says big wins there are critical to winning the ultimate prize—a general election.
Minister Sinanan explains that picking up a couple seats in other regions such as Princes Town, Chaguanas or Sangre Grande—which is what the UNC did—won't make a real difference to the outcome of a general election.
“The bottom line is that the UNC did improve and they must be given credit for that, but in terms of a general election result, it does not change the fact that they made no impact on the East-West Corridor,” Rohan Sinanan states. “In my personal opinion, if you cannot make an impact on the East-West Corridor, you cannot win a general election.”
The PNM strategist has commended the UNC for gaining some ground in the sangre grande region, even as he points out that while the UNC won the corporation, it did so by holding on to areas where it normally enjoys support.
“If you look at the Sangre Grande Corporation and you break it down into electoral districts, four of them are into the Cumuto-Manzanilla seat, which is really a stronghold for the UNC,” he explains. “One electoral district they won is in Toco-Sangre Grande, and the part where the UNC has the most support. In the PNM strongholds in Toco-Sangre Grande, they made no impact at all,” Rohan Sinanan points out.
He says the UNC made no impact in Arima.
In Tunapuna, he notes, the one seat they got has traditionally been a UNC seat.
However, Rohan Sinanan—like Terry Rondon—is confident that the PNM will retain the overall constituency in a general election.
And the minister admits that in San Fernando, the Petrotrin closure may have had an impact on some of the outcomes there.
He points out that a significant portion of those electoral districts fall within the Pointe-a-Pierre constituency, which traditionally, has been a UNC stronghold.
Thus, he argues, that won’t have any impact on San Fernando East and West constituencies, which he says will remain with the PNM in a general election.