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Political countdown

Fred Wesley
Monday, February 26, 2018

The key word, it seems, among our top leaders in the wake of early results of the Tebbutt Times Poll is 'strategy' or to re-strategise.

It has to be the main option now that we are aware of the ratings of our top leaders following the latest poll this month.

As we continue the count-down to the planned elections, the popularity poll places Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on a very 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 to 49 per cent in August last year.

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.

The shocker though came in the form 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.

As expected, three political parties preparing to contest the 2018 General Election have questioned the results of the Tebbutt-Times poll.

The National Federation Party, Unity Fiji Party and the Fiji Labour Party claim the surveys they have conducted at meetings around the country have shown a swing away from the ruling FijiFirst party under the leadership of Prime Minister Mr Bainimarama.

Unity Fiji believes results will change significantly in the coming months. Obviously the figures have attracted attention and could have a hand in how our leaders shape or reshape their strategy in the lead-up to the General Elections.

It is clear the PM is very popular.

Results point to the masses being happy with the way he is doing his job and it is reflected in the early poll results.

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 no doubt have a hand in how our leaders shape their strategy in the lead-up to the General Elections.

As the leaders reflect on the results and work out how it will affect them, surely things are going to get interesting. Such polls serve as a base for strategic campaigns by political leaders.

How they each take the next big step forward may have an impact on how they eventually perform in this year's elections.

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