Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley waves to supporters while on his way to file nomination papers at the Point Cumana Regional Complex earlier this month.

A recent poll has shown a near statistical tie in the ratings of Dr Keith Rowley and Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in terms of who would make the better Prime Minister leading up to the August 10 General Election.

The poll also found no significant difference between Rowley and Persad-Bissessar with respect to a “favourability rating” as political leaders.

The poll was undertaken for Guardian Media by H.H.B & Associates Limited, whose managing director Louis Bertrand is a national pollster. The firm was commissioned by Guardian Media to conduct two surveys—the first a national poll while the other focused on six marginal constituencies leading up to the General Election.

Respondents were questioned on several issues, including their interest in the election, major issues influencing their votes, the party best capable of solving problems, general progress of the country and people, performance in running the country, favourable ratings of key political leaders, comparative rating as prime minister, party image and voting intentions.

The first part of the national poll was highlighted in yesterday’s Sunday Guardian and showed that the People’s National Movement (PNM) was slightly ahead of the United National Congress (UNC) in the election race. The poll showed that 35 per cent of respondents support the PNM and 29 per cent the UNC, while only two per cent said they would vote for other parties.

Also, 40 per cent of respondents stated that they were not bothered as to who wins the upcoming election, while 30 per cent reported they were worse off today than five years ago.

Details of the national poll will conclude in the T&T Guardian on Wednesday.

In further examining the poll, respondents were questioned about the favourability ratings of key political leaders.

It showed that 57 per cent of voters viewed Rowley as “favourable” while Persad-Bissessar captured 53 per cent.

Congress of the People leader Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan and Movement for Social Justice head David Abdulah received a favourable rating of 19 and 16 per cent respectively.

“There is no statistical significant difference between Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Keith Rowley with respect to favourability ratings. Both have favourable ratings of just over half of those registered to vote,” the poll stated.

In the “unfavourable” category, Rowley obtained 43 per cent, Persad-Bissessar 44 per cent, Seepersad-Bachan 36 per cent and Abdulah 37 per cent.

Bertrand said given the margin of error with the poll, “that is a tie” between Rowley and Persad-Bissessar.

Respondents were also asked to rate the PNM and UNC performances in office in the last five years.

“The PNM performance was generally rated better in Government than the UNC in Opposition,” the poll stated.

Respondents gave the PNM a 46 per cent “good” rating while the UNC received 35 per cent.

However, 25 per cent of voters felt the PNM did a “bad” job with the UNC attaining 29 per cent.

Precisely 27 per cent viewed the PNM’s performance as “neutral.” The UNC received 30 per cent.

Two per cent reported “don’t know” for the PNM while the UNC obtained six per cent.

Bertrand said there is always a difficulty in an Opposition getting a rating on how it performed.

“You never see an Opposition outperforming the Government unless something really radically went wrong with the government,” Bertrand pointed out.

The poll also showed there is a statistical tie in the rating of Rowley and Persad-Bissessar on who would make the better Prime Minister.

Some 39 per cent of the respondents felt Rowley would be best suited as PM, while 34 per cent endorsed Persad-Bissessar for the key position.

Another 16 per cent of the voters responded “don’t know” while 11 per cent of voters suggested “other person” as their choice.

Taking into consideration that the poll’s margin of error is four per cent, Bertrand said this result was a draw.

The poll also reported that most Afro-Trinis (68 per cent) consider Rowley to be likely the best Prime Minister as compared with 11 per cent of Indo-Trinis who believe the same.

Similarly, 61 per cent of Indo-Trinis consider Persad-Bissessar to be the best PM as compared with eight per cent Afro-Trinis who believe the same.

Approximately 13.4 per cent Afro-Trinidadian and 15.5 per cent Indo-Trinidadians interviewed stated that they “don’t know” who would be the best person to lead the country. Eleven per cent of Afro-Trinidadian and 12.5 per cent of Indo-Trinidadian felt another person should become PM.

“However, it is so often the case, ratings vary significantly by race,” the poll stated.

“Now, who you think would be the best Prime Minister is highly correlated to race. That is the perennial problem that we have. We just cannot shake it off.”


In the national poll, Bertrand used a two-stage sampling procedure.

In the first stage, a sampling of constituencies was selected with the probability of selection being proportional to the number of registered electors in each constituency.

This was based on current Election and Boundaries Commission data.

In the second stage, polling divisions in each of the selected constituencies were selected based on the size of victory of the winning party.

A sample of 600 adults who were registered to vote was selected.

Questionnaires were administered face-to-face by interviewers to households in the selected polling divisions.

The poll’s margin of error is four per cent.