• 24 Jun, 2024

NACTA Poll - Voters Uninterested in Local Government Election

NACTA Poll - Voters Uninterested in Local Government Election

NACTA Poll - Voters Uninterested in Local Government Election

New polling from the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) over the last few weeks finds that a large majority of voters nationally are uninterested and turned off from ‘politics’ with some 70% saying will not vote in the coming local government elections.  There is no significant voter swing towards either major party, PNM or UNC, with neither one on the required voter support ascendancy to knock out the other in any of the seven local entities that the other currently controls. In fact, both parties are on the voter decline. Voters are turning away from both ‘major parties’. Both major parties are facing an uphill task to retain their traditional base with some (younger) Indians crossing over to the PNM because they see limited ‘political hope and opportunities’ in the UNC as presently constituted. They note that ‘the political pasture is greener’ on the other side. There is hardly any similar ethnic cross over of voters to the UNC with Africans and Mixed turned off from some of the political personalities in the opposition camp. Middle of the road, unaligned, floating voters are turned off from both major camps. Some traditional supporters of both major parties, particularly younger ones, are gravitating towards the ‘minor parties’ like PEP, PDP, NTA, and others. It is too early to tell whether the minor parties will make ‘in roads’ in UNC and PNM strongholds in terms of winning seats, but they are garnering votes. 


The tracking poll commenced two weeks ago interviewing adults on contemporary issues and how they will vote in the August 14 election. Some 430 eligible voters were interviewed at random, reflecting the demographics of the population. The survey is being co-ordinated by Dr. Vishnu Bisram . There is a 5% margin of error in the sample that is analyzed at a 95% confidence level. The polling organization will track support for the parties particularly in the marginal seats in corporations or boroughs of Sangre Grande, San Fernando, Siparia, and elsewhere over theh next three weeks thru the eve of the election. 

The responses of voters in the poll show a general lack of interest in the local elections with respondents using unpleasant words to describe the two major parties and some of their affiliates. Supporters of one party and floating, unaligned voters are most critical of some representatives of one party. 


In general, the findings of the survey reveal widespread voter apathy with some 70% voters saying they will not vote in the coming LGE, the highest no vote in the history of the nation. Voters are fed up of broken promises, the attacks, flip flops and political opportunism or expediency, and lack of cooperation from both sides to address declining economy, rising inflation, high crime rate, joblessness, and other social issues. People are fed up of being ‘mamaguyed’. 


The findings also show that leaders of both major parties have extremely low approval ratings and high negative ratings. A larger percentage of PNM supporters back (approve of) their party leader Dr Rowley than UNC supporters who approve of their party leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. With the PNM having greater resources and the benefits that come with incumbency, it has the advantage going into the election. It will require a major political swing to dislodge the PNM from its strongholds, and right now that kind of a swing is not in the making to benefit the opposition forces. 


Updated findings of party and independent candidates support in each of several local governments will be released soon.