Voters believe the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) is more “out of touch with ordinary people” when compared to the People’s National Movement (PNM).
Despite this, a national poll done by H.H.B & Associates Limited showed the UNC was still considered by electors to have more “sensible policies” compared to the PNM. But the PNM scored far more points than the UNC in the survey for keeping its promises to voters.
H.H.B & Associates Limited, whose managing director Louis Bertrand is a national pollster, was contracted by Guardian Media to do two surveys ahead of the August 10 General Election—the first a national poll and the other on the six marginal constituencies. (See Table 11)
Respondents were questioned on several issues, including their interest in the election, major issues influencing their votes, whether they felt parties were capable of solving problems, the general progress of the country and people, the parties’ performance in running the country, favourability ratings of key political leaders, party image and voting intentions.
The first part of the national poll started on Sunday Guardian and showed the PNM was slightly ahead of the UNC in the election race. The survey also found that 35 per cent of respondents supported the PNM and 29 per cent UNC. Also, 40 per cent of respondents stated they were not bothered about who wins next month’s election, while 30 per cent reported they were worse off today than five years ago.
On Monday, the survey found a near statistical tie in the ratings of PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley and UNC head Kamla Persad-Bissessar in terms of who would make a better Prime Minister.
In yesterday’s paper, the poll found that disenchantment over “poor public utilities and unemployment” could have a major influence on how voters will support the political parties.
In examining the final part of the national poll, respondents were asked several questions on “party image.”
On which party “keeps its promises,” respondents gave the PNM a 43 per cent rating to the UNC’s 37 per cent.
On this, Bertrand said, “Again, five years in Opposition, the UNC doesn’t have too many promises to keep.”
As to which party has been “out of touch with ordinary people,” the UNC received a rating of 52 per cent to the PNM’s 41.
With regards to “understanding problems of T&T,” the UNC was given a slight edge with 58 per cent while the PNM obtained 54 per cent.
With a four per cent margin of error, Bertrand said: “That is a tie more or less.”
Responding to which political party “looks after the interests of people like us,” the UNC received 43 per cent to the PNM’s 47 per cent. This, Bertrand said was another dead heat.
As for which party has sensible policies, the UNC picked up 54 per cent to the PNM’s 47 per cent.
“So that is a clear preference for UNC policies,” Bertrand said.
The poll reported that “most ratings were close (that is) not statistically significant.”