Vaz holds advantage over Crawford, says T'dad pollster

Sunday, March 31, 2019

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The majority of voters surveyed in Portland Eastern by Trinidadian pollster Derek Ramsamooj say they would prefer to support Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate Ann-Marie Vaz over the People's National Party's (PNP) Damion Crawford in the April 4, 2019 parliamentary by-election.

Ramsamooj said he and his team conducted two polls — the first on March 16 and 17 just after Nomination Day, and the second on March 26 and 27, both of which showed Vaz with sizeable leads over Crawford.

According to the post-nomination day poll, which sought the views of 2,945 voters, 57.97 per cent of respondents said Vaz when they were asked “Which candidate do you prefer to support in the by-election?” compared to 42.04 per cent who chose Crawford.

However, in the poll conducted last week, which Ramsamooj labelled the post-budget survey, and which had a smaller sample size — 1,928 voters — support for Vaz increased to 60.46 per cent while Crawford's number slipped to 39.54 per cent.

Ramsamooj said the polls, which have “a margin of error of plus or minus five per cent and 95 per cent confidence level”, were commissioned by “a number of stakeholders, both private and political, including the JLP”.

Asked why he conducted post-nomination day and post-budget surveys, Ramsamooj said: “We opted to do post-nomination because both political entities would be at the highest political level in terms of appeal to their base and to the undecided voter. The post-budget [was done] because we also wanted to see what political bounce may occur because of the presentation of the budget... those are two major political events in the by-election period.”

Ramsamooj heads Trinidad and Tobago firm Connect Consulting, whose data collated in surveys in 14 marginal constituencies was used by the JLP to clinch the 2016 General Election.

In his most recent polls, Ramsamooj said he found voter-leaning support for the JLP in the post-nomination day survey at 50.55 per cent when he combined respondents who described themselves as very strong supporters, strong supporters or leaning to the party. For the PNP the combined total was 29.21 per cent.

In the post-budget poll, the numbers were 55.02 per cent for the JLP and 29.73 per cent for the PNP.

The pollster also said Prime Minister Andrew Holness emerged from the post-nomination day poll with a 68.11 per cent approval rating, compared to Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips at 31.89 per cent, while in the post-budget survey the numbers were 67.17 per cent for Holness and 32.83 per cent for Phillips.

The number of constituents who indicated an intention to vote moved from 71.91 per cent in the post-nomination day survey to 73.35 per cent in the post-budget exercise; those who said they were not sure dipped from 16.57 per cent in the post-nomination day poll to 16.45 per cent in the post-budget survey, while the number of respondents who said they would not vote moved from 11.53 per cent post-nomination to 10.19 post-budget.

When, in the post-nomination day survey, the pollsters asked, “Overall, do you believe the country is going in the right direction?” same 56.06 per cent of respondents said yes, 28.62 per cent said no, while 15.32 per cent had no opinion. In the post-budget poll 64.73 per cent said yes, 26.61 per cent said no, while 8.66 per cent had no opinion.

The pollsters also asked the constituents to say which political party delivers a better quality of life. In the post-nomination day poll the answers were JLP 53.44 per cent, PNP 27.50 per cent, while 19.06 per cent of respondents said neither one. In the post-budget survey the numbers were JLP 57.83 per cent, PNP 29.20 per cent, neither one 12.97 per cent.


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