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Interesting political responses

Fred Wesley
Monday, March 05, 2018

The Tebbutt-Times poll on voting intention is already attracting attention across the political landscape it seems.

There is obvious attention now focused on trying to attract numbers from the percentage of undecided voters ahead of the 2018 polls.

The National Federation Party, Social Democratic Liberal Party, Fiji Labour Party and Unity Fiji seem to have started work to strengthen their campaigns.

In terms of numbers, the ruling FijiFirst Party continues to lead the polls. They have a hold on numbers right now and a very strong footing ahead of the rest.

However, the latest results of the Tebbutt-Times Poll have revealed that if an election was held tomorrow, quite a large number of people would be undecided.

The February poll revealed a great deal of uncertainty in the public's voting intention.

A staggering 34 per cent are not sure who to vote for.

Respondents were asked: If there was an election held in Fiji tomorrow, who would you give your vote to?

Free to give their response, 34 per cent of the respondents said they were unsure and 8 per cent declined to answer the question.

Thirty-two per cent said they would vote for FijiFirst, 22 per cent for SODELPA, 3 per cent for NFP and 1 per cent for FLP.

When you remove the undecided voters, FijiFirst still leads with 56 per cent of potential supporters, with SODELPA amassing 38 per cent, NFP five per cent and the Fiji Labour Party getting one per cent.

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad, SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka, FLP leader Mahendra Chaudhry and Unity Fiji leader Savenaca Narube were optimistic about their chances. We were not able to get a reaction from the ruling FijiFirst party though.

However, it is quite clear that there is work to be done.

The parties now have a base with which to launch or strengthen their campaigns.

The challenge now is to attract undecided voters.

As political leaders and their parties address issues to target this important voting block, it is difficult to ignore the reality that there is a rather interesting scenario developing on the political front.

It actually makes this year's election an interesting one.

The 2014 election would have been a very strong learning experience for participating parties and their candidates, making 2018 an interesting one to look forward to.

It will be interesting to see how each party uses the information to boost its numbers.

There can be doubts about the fact that we certainly are in for some interesting times.

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