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Updated BMG polls still show close election race


Tuesday, November 3, 2015: BMG: Recently, an on-line poll conducted by BMG indicated that the November 4th general elections will be extremely close as the final results of that poll showed the United Democratic Party (UDP) beating the People’s United Party (PUP) by just one seat.

At the time over 1,000 people had participated in the poll and since then another 1,400 people have participated bringing the total number of participants to 2,400. Still, the results have the UDP winning by just one seat.

Of note, however, is that the poll was open to Facebook users, some of whom may not even be registered voters or presently reside in the country. The poll was conducted simply to get an indication of the public sentiment among on-line users. Still, the polls suggest what many already believe, which is that this election will be closely contested and may be decided by just a few seats.

The UDP winners, according to the poll, were Angel Campos for Corozal West, Wilfred Elrington for Pickstock, Erwin Contreras for Cayo West, Omar Figueroa for Cayo North, John Saldivar for Belmopan, Dean Barrow for Queen Square, Michael Finnegan for Mesopotamia, Patrick Faber for Collet, Manuel Heredia for Belize Rural South, Edmond Castro for Belize Rural North, Gaspar Vega for Orange Walk North, Darrell Bradley for Caribbean Shores, Anthony “Boots” Martinez for Port Loyola, Pablo Marin for Corozal Bay, Frank “Papa” Mena for Dangriga and Tracey Taegar-Panton for the Albert Division.

According to the poll, the 15 PUP candidates to win were Francis Fonseca for Freetown, Dan Silva for Cayo Central, Orlando Habet for Cayo North East, Julius Espat for Cayo South, Oscar Requena for Toledo West, Johnny Briceno for Orange Walk Central, Said Musa for Fort George, Cordel Hyde for Lake-Independence, Dolores Balderamos for Belize Rural Central, Jose Mai for Orange Walk South, Rodwell Fergueson for Stann Creek West, Florencio Marin Jr. for Corozal South East , Mike Espat for Toledo East, David Castillo for Corozal North and Josue Carballo for Orange Walk East.

Many elections trends that have become expected over the years, remained constant even in the updated poll, with some candidates expected to win their constituencies convincingly. For the PUP, according to the polls, Fonseca wins 66 percent of the vote while Julius Espat takes 75 percent of the vote in his area, Requena gets 61 percent, Briceno gets 87 percent, Musa gets 79 percent, Hyde gets 74 percent and Marin Jr gets 77 percent in his area.

For the UDP, as expected, the polls show Barrow and Finnegan win by the largest margins in their area at 85 and 81 percent of the votes in their respective constituencies. The polls also showed Contreras with 72 percent of the vote, Figueroa with 63 percent, Faber with 65 percent, Heredia with 64 percent, Castro with 61 percent and “Boots” Martinez with 75 percent.

According to the poll, the most closely contested constituencies are Orange Walk East, Corozal North, Corozal Bay, Corozal West, Cayo North East and Cayo Central.

In Orange Walk East, according to poll results, the PUP’s Carballo beats Elodio Aragon with just over 50 percent of the votes to Aragon’s 49. In Corozal North the PUP’s Castillo beats Hugo Patt 48 percent to 46 percent. In Corozal Bay the UDP’s Marin edges out Gregorio Garcia 48 to 47 percent. In Corozal West the UDP’s Campos tops Ramiro Ramirez 50 percent to 47 percent. In Cayo North East the PUP’s Habet beats John August 52 to 47 percent and in Cayo Central the PUP’s Silva beats Rene Montero 53 to 46 percent. The polls show that PUP have a slight edge in the closely contested areas.

Still, the poll is unscientific and strictly opinion based and only meant to be an indicator of public sentiment leading up to the elections but if the results are anything to judge by, the elections may be decided by swing voters. It is also unclear whether or not the third party will be any significant factor, however, in instances where races are decided by less than 100 votes the presence of a third candidate may play large in swinging the decision.

Participants were only allowed to vote once in the poll.

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