VISHNU BISRAM of opinion pollsters NACTA on Tuesday said he was unfazed by the public criticism after failing to predict the 6-6 tie in Monday’s Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections. He said NACTA had provided a snapshot of opinion and had said six seats would have a close result. He had favoured the PNM in 11 out of 12 seats.
“The poll is a snapshot in time,” NACTA said in a text message to Newsday.
“Support can always change until people actually vote. Voters can always change their mind up to the voting booth.”
Bisram said his forecast had been for the PNM to win six seats comfortably, but elsewhere to see a close result.
“The poll did say that the other six seats were below 50 per cent support for PNM and would be close. As it turned out the PNM lost all six seats that were found close in the pre-election polling.” While he did not have exact and final figures for all 12 seats, he said the results seemed close in all including the six won by the PNM.
“Clearly, there was remarkable anti-incumbency vote. I think it is a shock to the PNM.
“The amount of anti-incumbency was not exactly measured by the poll. It was very strong and muscular and appeared to have spread out in all of the seats.”
Last Sunday, NACTA had indicated that the PNM was going into the election with a lead in 11 seats out of 12.
NACTA said the PNM has majority support in six seats and led comfortably in three more seats and led narrowly in two more seats. In four of the seats where the PNM led, it was with just below 50 per cent of support. The pollsters said the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) had a slight lead in the Roxborough seat which was a statistical dead heat.