A North American Caribbean Teachers Association opinion poll conducted in July shows the PPP leading the opposition parties whether they contest the 2011 general elections separately or as a big tent coalition. The findings show the opposition would fare better against the PPP, winning a greater percentage of votes, fighting the election as separate entities rather than as a united force.
NACTA is a New York-based group founded by several Caribbean educators with no affiliation to any political party. It has been conducting polls regularly in the Caribbean and has developed a reputation, generally, for being on target in its election predictions.
The July survey was conducted to determine popular support for the various parties for the 2011 general elections when President Jagdeo is not going to be on the ballot. NACTA randomly polled 980 likely voters (45% Indians, 30% Africans, 15% Mixed, 9% Amerindians, and 1% others) in face-to-face interviews to constitute a demographic composition of the population. The poll, coordinated by the NY-based Vishnu Bisram, has a margin of error of 3%.
According to the findings of the survey, the opposition will be better off contesting the elections as separate entities because it would garner more support than if it fought the PPP as one entity. Asked if an opposition big tent coalition contests against the PPP, how they plan to vote, 47% said PPP with 37% saying coalition and 16% saying they are not sure. A lot of voters who like the AFC and the minor parties noted they do not wish to link up with the PNC and plan to stay away from the voting booths or cast ballots for the PPP. Analogously, several voters who like the PNC plan to stay away from the polls if a PNCite is not made leader of any coalition.
Asked how they will vote if there is no opposition coalition, the PPP garners 45%, PNC 24%, AFC 13%, other parties 3%, and 16% undecided. Based on the findings, the opposition fighting the PPP as individual entities trails by 5% as compared with 10% when the opposition jointly contests against the PPP. Many voters said the presidential candidate of the parties will influence how they vote. Even some voters who commit to a party said another party’s presidential candidate could influence them to change their vote. For example, voters say if the PPP were to put up a candidate with integrity and could attract cross-over appeal, he or she will blow away the opposition.
If an opposition coalition is formed, will you vote for it?
If there is no coalition, which party will you vote for when an election is called?