PDP and PNM supporters gather at the entrance to the Calder Hall Multipurpose Facility, Tobago, for last Monday’s Nomination Day for the December 6 THA elections.

With exactly one week to go before the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) election, the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) says a recent poll on the island shows no clear indication of which political party will win the election.

NACTA said its opinion poll found the incumbent People’s National Movement (PNM) slightly ahead of the opposition Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP.)

But NACTA is predicting a bleak outcome for the island’s other political entities.

“Either party can win a majority of the seats of the fifteen-member assembly. The independents have no chance of winning a seat,” NACTA found.

The poll found the PNM led 52 per cent to the PDP’s 47 per cent in popular support.

NACTA said its poll interviewed dozens of voters in each constituency on issues including performance of the PNM and the PDP, approval ratings of Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis and PDP’s chief secretary-prospect Farley Augustine and the preferred choice of party in each of the island’s 15 constituencies.

“The main issues determining how people vote are: crime, roads, health and COVID, air bridge between Trinidad and Tobago, transportation costs of goods, agricultural neglect, drugs, good governance, among others,” NACTA said.

Dennis has a job performance approval rating of 54 per cent and Augustine had a rating of 48 per cent approval rating.

Dennis was the most popular of the candidates, with the highest voter opinion support of 56 per cent from the Buccoo/Mt Pleasant.

“Based on the trends of the findings, with less than a week to go before voting, neither party has solid leads in eight seats to win control of the house,” NACTA found.

The Association said the PNM has strong leads in Bagatelle/Bacolet, Buccoo/Mt Pleasant, Darrel Spring/Whim, Plymouth/Black Rock, and Signal Hill/Patience Hill and a “comfortable lead” in Scarborough/Mt Grace.

The PDP has strong leads in Belle Gardens/Glamorgan, Bethel/New Grange, Parlatuvier/L’anse Fourmi/Speyside, and Roxborough/Argyle. The PDP also has a “comfortable lead” in Bethesda/Les Coteau.

“This makes it a 5-4 or 6-5 PNM lead. The other four seats—Bon Accord/Crowne Point, Lambeau/Lowlands, Mason Hall/Moriah, Mt St George/Goodwood—are neck and neck and can go either way,” NACTA said.

NACTA said whichever party has the most effective election day machinery and can get voters out to the polls, will win the election.