Political scientist Dr Vishnu Bisram is expecting a low turnout on election day.
In an interview with Guardian Media on Saturday, he predicted a 55 per cent turnout of the national electorate.
He attributed this possibly low turnout to an electorate tired of the two main political parties.
“It is going to be a low poll as of now as people are very disenchanted. Not just for one side but for both sides. Not only the performance of the Government but also in the selection of candidates.”
He also gave the view that the leadership of the UNC faced anger over the selection of candidates and the leadership needs to address this problem.
Apart from the UNC, he said there was anger in the PNM not over the selection of candidates but for over different reasons such as people being unhappy with the Government’s performance.
Speaking about third parties and chances of victory in the marginals, Bisram said they may not have a chance of having a winning candidate but they can affect the outcome as it will be a close race in some of the marginals by a few hundred votes.
He added that the traditional two-party system does not encourage people to vote for smaller parties and third-party candidates.
“We have had this history of crapaud politics that we know very well. We put any crapaud and people vote for them. The mentality has not changed much in any party. At some point in time people are going to get fed up and not go out to vote. There is this wide apathy.”
According to an ongoing opinion poll conducted by North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA), marginal seats could be impacted by the entry of third parties enabling one of the major parties to win with less than a majority of the votes.
A total of 1,250 people were interviewed in the NACTA poll over the last two weeks according to Bisram.
The poll also found that both PNM and UNC will head to the elections polls with 15 safe seats each in Trinidad and nine marginal seats.
The poll finds widespread dissatisfaction and disappointment with candidate selection in some safe seats that could see a lower than usual turnout impacting on the so-called “marginal seats” that border them. Several nominees in “safe” seats, more of them in UNC stronghold than in PNM stronghold, do not find widespread favour among voters in their constituencies and nationally.
UNC general secretary Dave Nacoo in response to NACTA’s findings said that they have had “exceptionally good response” to their candidates on the ground in their respective constituencies and nationally.
“There will always be an initial disappointment because candidate selection is a competitive process and only one person can be selected. Support for UNC candidates in the marginals has been growing consistently as people are completely fed up of the mismanagement, corruption and incompetence of this PNM Government.”