Fiji Time: 4:02 PM on Wednesday 14 October

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Voters tell of their intent at the ballot

Nasik Swami
Saturday, May 24, 2014

WITH Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama taking an early lead as Fiji's preferred Prime Minister in the Tebbutt Times Poll, his proposed Fiji First political organisation has followed suit, grabbing more than half of the votes for the preferred party.

According to the survey, 56 per cent of the 1036 surveyed said they would vote for the Prime Minister's proposed political organisation at this moment in time.

The survey revealed 8 per cent of the people would vote for SODELPA, 3 per cent for FLP, 2 per cent for PDP, 1 per cent for NFP and an independent candidate, 2 per cent informal, 9 per cent refused to comment and 19 per cent were not sure who to vote for.

A sizeable 28 per cent (of which 19 per cent were not sure and nine per cent refused to comment) said they were undecided — responding that they were either unsure who they would vote for or unwilling to indicate a choice.

According to the survey, older voters aged 45 years and over were more than twice as likely to be undecided than those who would be voting for the first time.

The poll noted that uncertainty was also higher in the Central Division than in the West.

With only months away from the general election, the survey suggested the proposed Fiji First organisation drew support consistently across demographic groups, drawing either a majority or near-majority for all age groups and ethnicities, and for both genders.

The support for SODELPA, on the other hand, came predominantly from voters identifying themselves as iTaukei.

While Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry has been convicted by the High Court in Suva, automatically disqualifying him from contesting, the party drew support from 3 per cent of those surveyed.

The survey recorded the support base for FLP was from Fijians of Indian descent than other ethnicities.

Interestingly, while the PDP is the new party on the block, it has received 2 per cent support.

NFP, the country's oldest political party, trails with 1 per cent support. While most political parties think the months leading up to the general election will be critical, how they will muster support based on the pressing issues facing the people of Fiji will be interesting.

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