One data analyst says a political party’s ability to sway the undecided voters in marginal seats, will hold the key to the outcome of the general election.
Rishi Maraj says he is estimating at least five marginal seats, based on the adjustment of twelve constituencies by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC), as well as other factors.
He said while major parties have failed to make inroads outside their respective safe seats, and with the election coming down to the wire, focus has been shifted to marginal constituencies.
“We’ve seen in recent elections that while marginal voters may give you the support for a particular election, once you don’t hold your promise to them in terms of what you promised to achieve—either to allow them to expand and grow, or to help make the country better,” he explains, “they will obviously move their vote somewhere else, or just won’t vote.”
“So I think political parties need to listen to marginal voters, and have concrete policies and plans to be able to sway them, one way or the other,” he added.
Maraj is among the latest to downplay the role of alternative parties at the polls.
“I think in this election, there is not that strong third force,” he observes. “Yes, we have several third parties that are now in the race from the PEP to the MSJ, and other small independents contesting the poll. But I don’t think those parties have the force—as opposed to the other two major parties—to be able to make any inroads.”
He adds: “Based on that, I don’t either the PNM or the UNC has made any significant inroads into each other’s territories.”
Rishi Maraj predicts that on Election Day, it will come down to the effectiveness of the election machinery each party possesses, to get their voters to go out and vote. He says the larger parties have an advantage in this regard.
Trinidad and Tobago goes to the polls on Monday 10 August 2020.