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Interesting poll results

Fred Wesley
Saturday, February 24, 2018

The first Tebbutt Times Poll for 2018 has come out with some very interesting figures.

The battle is well and truly on as we head towards the polls this year.

As we continue the countdown to the planned elections, the latest Tebbutt Times popularity poll places Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on quite a high plane.

He continues to hold the top spot in this latest survey, following on from his top placing in our February, May and August surveys last year.

Mr Bainimarama is ahead on the preferred Prime Minister measure.

Survey respondents answered openly when asked the question: If there was an election held in Fiji tomorrow, who would you want to be Prime Minister?

Mr Bainimarama polled 64 per cent compared with 49 per cent in August last year.

Interestingly SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka also rose on the chart, hitting 23 per cent which was a much improved figure from the 16 per cent he got in the August 2017 poll.

Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa, polled 6 per cent.

What will come as a shocker though is the emergence of National Federation Party provisional candidate Lenora Qereqeretabua as a preferred PM. She polled 3 per cent. Her candidacy had only just been announced when the poll was taken.

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad polled 2 per cent and Unity Fiji leader Savenaca Narube got 1 per cent.

Mr Bainimarama's rating this week grew from a very strong comeback in August last year, after he had dropped to 34 per cent in the May survey, from a high of 44 per cent in February 2017.

Mr Bainimarama was the first choice for both major ethnic groups, however, he was a significantly more popular choice among Fijians of Indian descent (93 per cent) than iTaukei (45 per cent).

Mr Bainimarama was also more popular among older voters (69 per cent for those 30 or older), in rural areas (70 per cent vs 58 per cent in urban locations) and in the Western Division (74 per cent).

Mr Rabuka was named more frequently by younger voters (30 per cent for those under 30), and in the Northern Division (32 per cent).

Support for Prof. Prasad has also remained stable compared with the previous poll.

What will interest political analysts though is the significant 31 per cent of those eligible to vote who are undecided as opposed to 21 per cent in August last year.

The figures will undoubtedly have a hand in how our leaders shape their strategy in the lead-up to the General Election.

The PM clearly is popular. It is also clear that Mr Rabuka, Ms Qereqeretabua, Ro Teimumu, Professor Prasad and Mr Narube have support.

As the leaders reflect on the results and work out how it will affect them, we expect things to get interesting.

Such polls should serve as a base for strategic campaigns by our political leaders.

The steps they take will have an impact on how they perform this year.

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