By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
SUPPORT for both major political parties in Elizabeth is closely matched, according to a new survey, which puts candidates Dr Duane Sands and Ryan Pinder in a deadheat.
According to the findings of Silver Lining Enterprises, Dr Sands edges out the sitting MP by 12 voters in a random sampling of 301 voters in the constituency.
The company was contracted by Dr Sands and a team of 10 workers surveyed 160 men and 141 women from March 17 to 31.
"The two most pressing issues highlighted by residents of Elizabeth are the rate of unemployment and joblessness within the constituency and the impact of the scourge of crime," the survey read.
"This was followed by immigration, health care, the road works and its impact on their neighborhoods and driving habits, the sluggish justice system and the apparent lack of focus on the development of youth and youth initiatives and education."
According to the Parliamentary Registration Department, there are 4,759 registered voters in Elizabeth.
The survey shows a slim margin between voter satisfaction, 48.2 per cent, and dissatisfaction, 51.8 per cent, with sitting MP Ryan Pinder.
The pair went head-to-head for the seat in the 2010 bye-election, when Mr Pinder edged out Dr Sands by three votes in an election court ruling. In the lead up to the general elections, the Silverlight survey projects that Dr Sands has a 32.9 per cent approval rating in the constituency over Mr Pinder's 28.9 per cent. Democratic National Alliance candidate Charlene Paul netted 54 voters. While the majority of residents polled did not wish to disclose their past election choice, 34.6 per cent said they voted for the FNM and 29.9 per cent chose the PLP.
Face-to-face interviews were employed by surveyors, who noted that a few participants openly admitted that their vote would be influenced by direct financial ben
efit. No more than two persons were interviewed from each household.
Surveyors were only able to access 11 of 13 polling divisions as gated communities were not accessible due to privacy concerns and guidelines.
Findings were said to have a margin of sampling error for the full sample of +/- 5 percentage points with a 95 per cent level of confidence.
The survey added: "Most of the registered voters spoken to indicated an interest in seeing their prospective MP think on their feet and outline their plans, in a head-to-head debate, for the constituency so that they can draw a comparative analysis between all of the candidates and their plans for them."