Every Sunday I read Dr Hamid Ghany’s usually perfect little articles. I humbly beg for editorial permission to crunch Dr Ghany’s always statistically correct numbers. Official turnout was 58.04 per cent on August 10. In Trinidad alone, the voter tally for the UNC was (309,188) and PNM (305, 848). Yet the UNC got 19 seats and the PNM earned 20. The PNM earned 49.08 per cent of the votes cast to win 22 seats and the UNC earned 47.09 per cent of the votes cast to win 19 seats.
The PNM therefore won a majority of seats with a minority of votes. Quote Dr Ghany: “The prime reason why there was a ‘manufactured majority’ was because there were seven seats that were won with less than 50 per cent turnout in those seats,and all of those seats were won by the PNM.” They are (1) Port-of-Spain South (42.34 per cent) (2) Laventille West (43.66 per cent (3) Diego Martin West (46.67 per cent (4) Port-of-Spain north/St Ann’s West (46.73 per cent) (5) Laventille/ West East Morvant 47.17 per cent (6) Diego Martin North East 47.34 per cent and (7) Diego Martin Central 48.45 per cent.
Ghany continues, “All these seats are geographically contiguous and comprise the North-West part of Trinidad. Traditionally, very few UNC supporters actually live in North Trinidad.”
Dr Ghany then contrasted Moruga/Tableland (69.29 per cent) which was won by the UNC. The PNM won La Horquetta/Talparo (64.22 percent) St Joseph (63.61 per cent) and Tunapuna (63.12 per cent). The other relevant seats won by the UNC are Point-a-Pierre (66.21) Fyzabad (65.74 per cent, Chaguanas East (63.12 per cent).
Is Dr Ghany’s number crunching irrelevant? Perhaps 80 per cent (I am guessing) of the UNC-based voters reside in Central and South Trinidad, with very few in Tobago. North-West Trinidad has 65 per cent (I am guessing) PNM supporters with the rest scattered about all communities. In 2020 the UNC did not contest the two Tobago seats which the PNM won.
In all 41 constituencies the PNM won 322,250 votes for both islands combined. The UNC therefore won the popular vote in Trinidad only.
Other factors for the UNC election loss (a) allegations of rampant bribery (b) adverse racist advertising and (c) unsupported social media belief/ misbelief, that the UNC was capable of winning general elections 2020, all need to be separately examined.
Ask yourself this: Is there a true popularity vote if number crunching is skewed because of self orchestrated geographical political disadvantage?