Sat | Mar 24, 2018

Undecided electors not happy with some nominees - study

Published:Wednesday | February 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Days before the People's National Party (PNP) nominated Dr Fenton Ferguson and Marsha Francis and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) nominated James Robertson and Delano Seiveright to represent them in the February 25 general election, voters in the parish expressed concern about the quality of the candidates.

A study on why Jamaicans vote and the implications for who wins the next election conducted by university lecturer Dr Herbert Gayle found that several persons on the voters' list in St Thomas believe that the parish has been neglected by both major political parties and have placed the blame at the feet of their political representatives.

"This parish was also among those with persons who complained that they need better candidates," said Gayle, following a study conducted between November 15, 2015, and January 10, 2016.

But the issue of bad candidates is not limited to St Thomas as among the almost 50 per cent of persons on the voters' list who told Gayle that they were not going to vote, or were undecided, five per cent cited poor candidates among the reasons for their uncertainty.




"The data show that the leader of the JLP would, however, benefit more than the (president) of the PNP from empathy votes. A significant number of undecided respondents said that they might vote JLP to "give Andrew a chance, since in all fairness, him never get proper time to show us what he can do.

"Only six respondents felt similarly about the president of the PNP, suggesting: 'Give the woman one last go at this thing. When she did just start, it was about Portia; but now, she is a team player. Give her a chance to go on'," said Gayle.

The researcher also found that some candidates were named as the main reason some persons would vote in the general election.

"Note, this is not about MPs/caretakers that are loved, but it is a measure of their impact in the upcoming election," said Gayle.

Not surprising, PNP President Portia Simpson Miller and JLP leader Andrew Holness lead the list of candidates who will cause persons to vote for their party.

Dr Peter Phillips, AndrÈ Hylton, Lisa Hanna, Julian Robinson, newcomer Imani Duncan-Price, and Dr Fenton Ferguson are among those carrying voters to the PNP, while Mike Henry, Delroy Chuck, and first-time candidate Juliet Holness are among those taking votes to the JLP.