Ian, Om trail behind
With one week to go, Terrance Deyalsingh has a commanding lead in the race for St. Joseph MP. Of those who responded, 39% favour PNM Candidate Deyalsingh, 26% UNC candidate Ian Alleyne, 19% ILP candidate Om Lalla, and 14% undecided. Independent candidate Errol Fabien and DNA candidate Michael Lopez had negligible support.
The poll shows a significant correlation between race and candidate choice. Among those who identified themselves as Afro-Trinidadian, Mr Deyalsingh leads 64% of decided voters compared to 18% for the ILP candidate, and 18% for the UNC candidate. Conversely, among those who identified themselves as Indo-Trinidadian, Mr. Lalla was preferred by 42% of decided voters, compared to 42% for the ILP candidate, and 16% for the PNM candidate. Significantly, Mr. Deyalsingh was the candidate of choice for those who identified themselves as of Mixed Ethnicity, leading with 67% of decided voters. There were about equal numbers of each group in the polling sample.
This was consistent with results by community with Mr Deyalsingh polling convincingly higher in Petit Bourg, Mt. Hope, Mt. D’or, and Champs Fleurs. Mr Alleyne polled significantly higher in Aranguez, and Mr Alleyne and Mr Mr Lalla split votes near evenly in North Valsayn.
Mr Deyalsingh was able to hold on to his “base”, leading with 72% of traditional PNM supporters, compared to traditional UNC supporters who “split” their vote almost 50-50 between Mr Alleyne and Mr Lalla. Within traditional UNC voters, the split between UNC and ILP appears to be somewhat correlated with gender —with men preferring UNC by a roughly 2:1 margin, and women preferring the ILP by roughly a 3:2 margin in the opposite direction. Those who identified themselves as traditional COP voters polled three ways between the UNC candidate, the ILP candidate, and some going to independent candidate Errol Fabien and DNA candidate Michael Lopez.
The three of the four issues tested: job performance of former MP Herbert Volney, and the importance of Candidate Identity and Party when selecting a candidate were near unanimous across the constituency. The final issue was which quality voters were looking for in a candidate when deciding who to support.
Of those polled, 66% were dissatisfied with the job performance of former MP Herbert Volney, with only 13% saying they were satisfied.
Both Person and party were declared important, with 67% of voters considering party “Very Important” and 14% “Important”, while 67% of voters considered the candidate “Very Important” and 13% “Important”.
When asked what votes looked for in a candidate, 41% said they valued a candidate who can deliver services to the people, 36% wanted a candidate who would personify the community and be a role model, 12% look for a candidate who would support his party in Parliament, with few voters interested in a candidate who would engage in Parliament’s role as a check and oversight over Cabinet.
The issues tested in the poll, such as the satisfaction with the job performance of Herbert Volney, the qualities that a voter is looking for in a candidate, and the importance of Race and Person in candidate choice, were roughly the same among all voters regardless of the candidate that they selected. This suggests that while some of these issues are more important than others, none of these issues impacted or explain the choice that the individual voters made. For example, even among those who plan to vote for ILP candidate Om Lalla, only 21% were satisfied with the representation provided by ILP party member Mr. Herbert Volney; with 58% dissatisfied and 25% who were not sure. In statistical terms, this is roughly equal to the dissatisfaction among the overall pool of voters of which 66% were dissatisfied with Mr. Volney’s performance. The Campaign
A remarkable 38% of voters have reported meeting at least one of the candidates personally, with the communities of Aranguez, St. Joseph proper and Mount Lambert getting the most attention.