... Comrades dismiss poll which shows Alexis heading for defeat
The People's National Party (PNP) has scoffed at the findings of a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)-commissioned opinion poll reportedly done in South East St Mary.
The findings of the poll, released last week by Trinidadian pollster Derek Ramsamooj, show the PNP's Dr Shane Alexis some 11 percentage points behind the JLP's Dr Norman Dunn in the final leg of the race to elect the next member of parliament for the constituency.
But the PNP charged that the poll is "patently ridiculous and way out of line with both the reality on the ground and the historical voting pattern of the constituency".
According to the PNP: "The party believes the announced findings to be fake and designed to deceive the people of the constituency and the wider Jamaica into thinking that they are in an unassailable position."
The PNP said it has been organising and canvassing on the ground in all communities in the constituency and has found that voter response is in total opposition to the poll findings both in terms of support for the candidate and the party's leader.
The PNP said it had spent some time analysing the numbers presented by Ramsamooj, and the lead announced by him would place the constituency in the column of safe seats for JLP, when in reality its candidates have won six of the last seven general election contests in the constituency and has held it for 23 of the last 27 years.
The party said if the JLP expects its polls to be taken seriously, there are important questions to be answered by them and their research group.
"These include explanation of the large sample size of 1,738 persons and the distribution of the questionnaires across the four political divisions. Can the JLP say how the questionnaires were administered in just two days? Were persons asked which party or which candidate they would support? Why is an 'experienced' pollster mixing up name recognition with voting intention?" questioned the PNP.
The PNP said that on the basis of the information presented so far, it seriously questions the reliability and integrity of the polling.
The party asserted that it "will not be deterred by this blatant attempt at misinformation and will continue its work on the ground where there is a groundswell of support for the PNP and Dr Alexis".
In addition, the PNP said the JLP must tell the nation if it had previously conducted any polling in the constituency since the passing of Dr Winston Green, and release those findings publicly in the same manner it is now doing with this fake survey.
"The JLP must publicly disclose how the 1,700 respondents in this artificial poll were selected and by whom. They also need to indicate where the polling was conducted, as there are no indications on the ground that anyone was polled over the two days in which this is purported to have been done," said the PNP.