Absence of clear winner in local gov't election not a surprise - Anderson

Don Anderson, pollster and head of Market Research Services Limited
By Lorraine Mendez    
Pollster and head of Market Research Services Limited, Don Anderson, says the absence of a clear winner in Monday's local government election is unsurprising.
Mr. Anderson says the preliminary outcome is consistent with the results of the latest RJRGLEANER commissioned poll conducted earlier this month.
The survey showed the two main parties locked in a statistical dead heat, with 24 per cent of those surveyed saying the would be voting for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and 23 per cent indicating that they would vote for the People's National Party (PNP). 
As the nation awaits the results of the final count, now underway, both the JLP and PNP have claimed victory in the closely contested election. 
"I would like to think that that is as accurate as you can get [in a poll], because at the moment it is very difficult to separate the parties in terms of who won [the election]." 
"That one per cent difference, which is within the margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, represents, as far as I'm concerned, the most accurate reading, poll prediction or poll results vis-a-vis outcome of election," Mr. Anderson touted. 
But the noted pollster said he was surprised by the low voter turnout for Monday's election.
According to preliminary results from the Electoral Office of Jamaica, only 29.6 per cent of those eligible to vote decided to cast their ballot.
Mr. Anderson said the low turnout is surprising and disappointing given the level of campaigning activity by both political parties in the lead up to the local government election. 
"I thought that we would have had a higher voter turnout, and certainly in the poll that I did, we were coming up with anything like up to about 40 per cent turnout in the poll yesterday." 
He reasoned that the low turnout is "a serious indictment on the process itself and how people feel towards voting in elections in general". 
According to Mr. Anderson, the major political parties need to work on convincing the electorate to exercise their right to vote.

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