As the campaign is coming to an end, the latest tracking poll being conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association shows the election is turning out to be a cliff hanger. The latest findings reveal very close contests in several of the marginals that will determine the outcome. There are ten marginals or closely fought seats in Trinidad and one in Tobago. While one or the other of the two major parties, PNM and UNC, is leading in a marginal, it has not sealed the deal as yet with 50% support. Thus, the contest is going down to the wire. It is a high stakes election for both sides and for the leader of both major parties in what is one of the most politically charged campaigns in recent history as voters recall.
The latest tracking survey in Trinidad was conducted from last Saturday with 740 likely voters dispersed in the marginals reflective of the demographic composition of the population. The poll was undertaken by Dr. Vishnu Bisram who has been conducting surveys in Trinidad and Tobago since the 1995 elections.
When the findings of this survey are aggregated with the other tracking polls conducted in July, both parties are safe in fifteen seats although the UNC has lost support in a few traditional ‘safe’ seats. The PNM has lost support in almost all of its traditional ‘safe’ seats as there is widespread disgruntlement with the performance of the government. Some 57% of the voters say their lives have not improved and almost every business person has complained that revenues have been down significantly this year. Yet, there isn’t a clear electoral verdict to the outcome days before voting on Monday. It is an election that could go either way with one side gaining momentum in the popular vote nationwide. It is possible for one side to win the popular vote and not win a majority of seats.
Based on the projections of the aggregate findings of the tracking surveys in the marginals, UNC is still leading in the three (Pointe-A-Pierre, Chaguanas East, and Barataria) it holds while the PNM is leading in three of the six it holds. Three other seats are almost neck and neck. Lopinot/ Bon Air West is also turning out to be an interesting contest with Jack Warner in the race but PNM is in the lead.
In Tobago, update polling shows a tightening of the race between PNM and PDP with the former still in the lead in both seats. An upset cannot be ruled out.