Friday 25 September, 2020

Analyst: Choosing Gypsy may have cost PNM Moruga seat

The United National Congress' (UNC) Michelle Benjamin won the Moruga/Tableland seat by a significant margin over her opponent Winston 'Gypsy' Peters. Photo via Facebook

The United National Congress' (UNC) Michelle Benjamin won the Moruga/Tableland seat by a significant margin over her opponent Winston 'Gypsy' Peters. Photo via Facebook

Political analyst Dr Winford James has weighed in after the People's National Movement (PNM) lost the Moruga/Tableland seat in the General Election. The United National Congress' (UNC) Michelle Benjamin won the seat by a significant margin over her opponent Winston 'Gypsy' Peters.

In an interview with Loop News, Dr James noted that the PNM lost the seat despite predictions that they would secure a victory in the marginal constituency. 

He said: "The polls predicted that the PNM was ahead and that they would win, but we saw a situation where the PNM lost the seat. They held it by a very small margin the last time; but they lost by a greater margin in that they themselves even contemplated. Why? They would have done a lot of investment in that constituency in order to keep it because they recognised how important it was."

Dr James suggested that the UNC secured more votes because the constituents were disenchanted with the PNM.

He said: "...One of them is the apparent disaffection of some of the PNM voters with the PNM. Did some of the PNM people swing to the UNC? Did the undecided vote go to the UNC rather than to the PNM? But you have to understand that in a marginal, there is ethnic balance, and the swing vote is a critical vote here. The question I am trying to answer is, where did that swing vote come from?"

He said the PNM's candidate choice may have also played a significant role in the results.This, as he questioned why the PNM executive rejected Lovell Francis and selected Peters.

Dr James said: It seems to me that Gypsy had a negative impact on PNM's fortune in that constituency. I can only pick that out because of inspite of the fact that the Government had done some developmental work to coax the constituents to vote, the people did not vote for the PNM. Why would you take somebody competent, highly educated and put somebody like Gypsy?" 

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