The Jamaicans have dumfounded the so-called pollsters who were predicting a return to power for Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller and the People’s National Party (PNP) with a more than comfortable victory over its arch rival, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
The pollsters in Jamaica were proven so wrong as the election was won by the opposition with Holness becoming the new leader of the Land of Reggae.
It is not the narrow one-seat victory margin that counts but the manner in which the Jamaican people proved the Pollsters to be so wrong with their figures.
Surely, the people of Jamaica will now be skeptical of the results of these so-called polls for future general elections.
These pollsters will have to go back on the drawing board to come up with an acceptable explanation for getting it so wrong in the Jamaica election.
Some persons with knowledge of the political landscape in Jamaica have been saying that the JLP does not beat the PNP in elections but that the PNP loses elections for itself.
That aside, there must be some reason why the Jamaican electorate voted out Prime Minister Simpson-Miller in favour of the JLP that was not considered by the pollsters as having a ghost of a chance to get into office.
THE NEW TODAY would want to believe that the bitter austerity measures that the PNP were forced to throw down the throats of Jamaicans over the years played some part in the decision-making of the people.
The Simpson-Miller administration was passing with flying colours each and every of the test and benchmark set down by the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).
It should be noted that Jamaica has been under the IMF spell since the 1970’s when the island was engulfed in serious political turmoil as part of the East/West conflict in the world between the Soviet Union and the United States.
The charismatic and popular Michael Manley who was hailed as the new Joshua was prepared to take the country along the road of Socialism under the PNP but met with stiff opposition from the pro-Washington right-wing leader, Edward Seaga of JLP.
Jamaica has never been the same thereafter as the economy went through a period of hardship and the country has not been able to recover from the economic and financial challenges of past years.
The vast majority of Jamaicans are still reeling from the political mistakes of the 70’s and 80’s as their politicians ruled by putting self before country.
The PNP has governed Jamaica for most of the past 40 years and is the party that borrowed heavily to run the country that is heavily indebted..
There are similarities between the PNP and our own New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Apart from being in office most of the years than their opponents, they both have borrowed heavily especially loans at very high commercial interest rates in order to give the semblance that things are happening and the country is progressing.
The bottom line with both PNP and NNP is that when the time came to pay back the loans their respective countries were found badly wanting.
This is the same predicament that Grenada has now found itself as those now in charge had to run with their tails to the IMF for rescue through the current austerity measures that came in the form of wage freeze, and a wave of taxes on the backs of Grenadians.
The people of Grenada might be heading for early elections and the people will be called upon to make the final decision as was the case last week in Jamaica.
There is talk that a poll was recently done by Barbadian pollster, Peter Wickham which is predicting another 15-0 victory at the polls by Dr. Mitchell’s NNP but again only time will tell.
The outcome of the next election will give a clear indication as to how the rank and file Grenadian is thinking – not the mainstream supporters of both of the major political parties.
It is that lot who will determine the outcome of the next election as has been the case over the years.
THE NEW TODAY is confident that no pollster including Wickham knows for sure how these people will vote on Polling Day if all things are equal.
Wickham made a prediction in 2008 from a poll and that did not have the NDC getting into office with its 11-4 victory over NNP in the elections.