NACTA Poll: Close Fight in Siparia

Friday, November 29, 2019 - 13:15

As the 2019 Local Government Elections are set to run-off on Monday December 2nd, the latest NACTA Poll says it may be too close to call in the Siparia constituency.

And the NACTA pollsters say while voters are “disenchanted with the PNM’s governance”, the UNC may not be able to capitalise on that, given its current line-up.

In a release outlining the Poll’s latest results, the NACTA team says whoever is able to mobilise on the ground will be the overall winner in each constituency.

The full text of the release, follows…

THE OUTCOME OF THE SIPARIA’S local government election is the most unpredictable of the fourteen corporations that goes to the polls on Monday. The corporation could go either way as there is no clear front runner – it is a dead heat.

This is from the findings of an ongoing tracking survey being conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA). The rest of the corporations are predictable.

The two major parties are going into the elections with PNM controlling 8 and UNC 6 corporations – PNM won seven outright in 2016 and Sangre Grande was tied controlling it as the incumbent. In Monday’s elections, UNC faces a strong challenge in Siparia and the PNM stiff contest in Sangre Grande as the two parties seek to wrest control from the other. Based on the findings of the poll, no other corporation will change hands.

Of the 139 seats (two seats added from 2016) up for grabs, the PNM will win about 85 and UNC 54 plus or minus a few.  However, in terms of voter support, the UNC has a slight lead. Clearly, percentage voter support will not reflect the proportion of seats won.

The poll finds there is economic angst with voters disenchanted with PNM’s governance, but they say UNC in its current make up is not an attractive alternative. Voters are turned off from both major parties and turn out is projected to be dismally low. There is not much enthusiasm or interest in the elections and the outcome could be a harbinger of what could happen in next year’s general elections.

The survey was conducted by experienced pollster Dr. Vishnu Bisram, who has been conducting field work in Trinidad since the 1980s. Respondents were interviewed to reflect the demographics of the population in selected constituencies.

Based on the findings of the survey, PNM faces no serious challenge from UNC apart from Sangre Grande, although the PNM faces a contest in a few seats by Louis Lee Sing’s PPM in Port of Spain.

In Grande, the survey shows PNM leading in five seats and UNC three. However, three of those seats are close; a 6-2, 5-3, 4-4 outcome is possible.

In Siparia, the PNM leads in four seats and UNC four with one seat a dead heat. As in Grande, three seats are close; a 5-4 or 6-3 outcome is possible for either party.

Elsewhere, no major change is projected except that the incumbent party in Rio Claro, San Fernando, Chaguanas, and Tunapuna are in stiff challenge in a few seats that the opinion polls show as close. Turnout will determine the outcome in all closely fought seats.

Who brings out more voters will rule the day. PNM seems better organized on the ground in the campaign with lots more resources than UNC and PPM.



Story by NEWS DESK