The battleground seats
POLITICAL pundits have agreed that 14 key constituencies will determine which of the two major political parties will form the next Government after the ballots are counted in today’s general election.
The 14 marginal seats were won by fewer than 1,000 votes in the 2011 General Election. Thirteen are held by the ruling People’s National Party.
In a Jamaica Observer article on Tuesday, Trinidad-based political scientist Derek Ramsamooj said a poll conducted by him between February 9 and the past weekend shows that the seats are leaning towards to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
The pool found that 51.76 per cent of electors in the marginal seats would vote for the JLP compared to 48.24 per cent for the PNP. The poll, which had a sample size of 1,859 people, and a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, has a 95 per cent confidence level Ramsamooj said.
Another key finding of of the poll was that 53.47 per cent of the respondents believed that JLP leader Andrew Holness would make a better prime minister that PNP leader and current Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. As to whether Simpson Miller deserved a second term, 52.02 per cent said ‘no’, while 41.41 per cent of the respondents said ‘yes’.
Meanwhile, as to what would influence them to vote, 74.44 per cent of the respondents said leadership; 71.37 per cent said competence of the candidates; 69.74 per cent said national issues; and 61.30 per cent said loyalty to party.
Here are the candidates who will go up against each other in the battleground seats: