PNM supporters appear to “disinterested and dispirited” for Monday’s Local Government elections.
That’s according to the latest North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) poll which was released on Friday.
The poll has interviewed hundreds of likely voters since former UNC chairman Jack Warner entered the fray a couple weeks ago.
They found that the Opposition UNC is strengthening its political base support and that Warner’s return to the party had “energised and excited the UNC base and has not triggered a similar response from the PNM base.”
NACTA said many traditional UNC supporters who did not plan to vote, have now changed their minds.
“A month ago, only 30 per cent of the population were interested in casting ballots, with a majority going for the UNC.”
That turnout number, NACTA continued, has inched up with most newly interested voters going to UNC.
“This could help the UNC in competitive marginal seats in Sangre Grande, San Fernando, Siparia, and Chaguanas.”
NACTA said, “The latest findings put UNC ahead in Siparia and Chaguanas.”
Both of these corporations are within the seven held by the UNC since the 2019 local government elections.
But the San Fernando City and Sangre Grande Regional Corporations, currently controlled by the PNM and UNC respectively, are fast emerging as the political battlefields were the elections will be won or lost.
NACTA said, “In San Fernando, PNM leads in four seats with UNC leading in three seats and two toss ups. In Grande, PNM and UNC leads in three seats with two seats a toss up.
In both corporations, NACTA continued, voter turnout is benefitting the UNC because PNM supporters “appear turned off.”
NACTA predicts the PNM would retain San Fernando and could take Sangre Grande away from the UNC.
“This is a landmark election that will have a significant bearing not only on local election but the general election in 2025.”
NACTA said a local-government-election loss on Monday would hurt the UNC more than the PNM.
In the former’s case, NACTA continued, “pressure will be on the UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar to step down.”
In the latter’s case, a loss of one corporation from the seven that the PNM now holds, would not be fatal to the party’s bid for re-election in the 2025 general election.
NACTA said, “It (PNM) still has two more years in office to rebrand itself.”
The smaller parties contesting the elections (MSJ, PDP and PEP) have the potential to upset the PNM and the UNC/NTA coalition.
NACTA said, “They could create upsets and or decide the outcome in several marginal seats including Barataria and two seats in Chaguanas.”