Editorial comment – How the numbers look

Fijian PM and FijiFirst leader Voreqe Bainimarama. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

AS the countdown continues to our second general elections since 2006, the Tebbutt-Times Poll is showing up that at least one in five people are still undecided on who to vote for.

The poll, carried out on October 22-24, is showing up 22 per cent of undecided voters and another 10 per cent who declined to answer the question on who they would vote for.

That is a huge figure when combined.

It does place a lot of pressure on political parties to get their campaigns right. Emphasis will no doubt be focused on winning these undecided voters.

There will be a lot of political manoeuvring and strategic messages for the masses.

On the issue of the preferred Prime Minister, as of October 24, 68 per cent of the people surveyed said they would vote for Voreqe Bainimarama as PM.

Support for SODELPA’s Sitiveni Rabuka increased from 18 per cent to 24 per cent and a rise from 2 per cent to 5 per cent for NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad.

When asked about their voting intentions, 43 per cent said they would vote for Fiji First compared with 56 per cent before the 2014 elections.

Twenty per cent said they would vote for SODELPA compared to 17 per cent in 2014.

Obviously there will be a concerted effort by the other political parties to lift their game as we inch closer to November 14.

Given the fact that we are two weeks away from elections, interest will no doubt now focus on how aspiring politicians woo the undecided voters.

Interestingly in 2014, undecided voters dropped from 20 per cent in June to 11 per cent in August. Strategies are now critical as we head into the home stretch.

Parties and aspiring politicians have their work cut out.

We should acknowledge there are differing opinions out there.

How the figures move from here will be keenly watched.

With the Tebbutt Times Poll we hope to stimulate public discussion and debate on issues that affect us.

This should be a platform where issues of concern are raised, heard, and acknowledged.

Today’s snap shot of how the numbers are tallying up will serve as a base for participating parties and aspiring politicians to structure their messages moving forward.

It seems voters between the ages of 18-29 appear to be more confident with only 23 per cent undecided as opposed to 39 per cent over 45 years old and 34 per cent between the ages of 30-44.

This obviously will be the target area for the parties over the next two weeks.

The numbers are showing how people are responding to the looming elections.

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