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Party refutes poll

Dawn Gibson And Nasik Swami
Sunday, May 25, 2014

THE Fiji Labour Party yesterday expressed concern over the Tebbutt-Times poll results published by this newspaper.

Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said the poll results might mislead people, citing a poll carried out by this publication in 1999.

"FLP is confident of its grassroots support and cautions people not to be misled by poll results which have been notoriously inaccurate in the past," Mr Chaudhry said, claiming the poll was not trustworthy.

"The Times-Tebbutt poll, which has been resurrected by The Fiji Times for the 2014 general election, has no credibility.

"It was badly discredited in 1999 when its results were showing very little support for the FLP.

"Indeed, it was predicting that Labour would not win a single seat whereas Labour, in fact, won a landslide victory in the 1999 elections."

Mr Chaudhry said support for the party was "intact on the ground".

"We are not the least bit bothered by these so-called polls."

In response, The Fiji Times general manager Hank Arts said while everybody was entitled to their opinions, Tebbutt Research was a credible agency.

"I have every confidence in the credibility of Tebbutt Research, a poll is a poll, this is the first of a number of polls we are going to take and they are going to show what the people think and any shifts in opinion.

"Everybody will have an opinion, but we believe the Tebbutt research to be a very credible way of finding out peoples' opinions and we stand by that."

The Fiji Times editor-in-chief/publisher Fred Wesley said it was encouraging to see a response from FLP.

"Obviously we still have a few months to go through leading up to the elections in September and the numbers can always change. I think what is important is the fact that there are numbers to work with in the first place.

"There is a base for political parties to work from and the people have an opportunity to speak their minds. Then there is the bit about stimulating discussion on issues that concern people leading up to the elections."

Tebbutt Reseach general manager Tim Wilson refused to comment on the matter.

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