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Vote2018: Battle For iTaukei Votes In Full Swing Between NFP, SODELPA

Vote2018: Battle For iTaukei Votes In Full Swing Between NFP, SODELPA
Sitiveni Rabuka.
May 29
12:58 2018

The battle for iTaukei votes has intensified between SODELPA and the National Federation Party (NFP).

The NFP has gained significant traction in its bid to lure away from SODELPA iTaukei voters.

This is reflected in the latest Fiji Sun-Razor opinion poll. SODELPA has dropped 19 per cent to 15 per cent in the preferred party to govern the country after the 2018 general election.

The confusion among SODELPA’s predominantly iTaukei rank and file over the party’s official stand on Fijian as a common name has helped the NFP to gain inroads into SODELPA’s stronghold.

NFP has recorded its biggest jump from 5.1 per cent the previous week to 10 per cent last week.

NFP president Pio Tikoduadua and his team have been targeting SODELPA’s and FijiFirst’s iTaukei support.

He is getting more success in the SODELPA camp than the FijiFirst side because SODELPA is plagued by internal divisions on a number of issues.

 

The issues include the:

– Use of Fijian as the common name

-Controversial Gaunavinaka Report which the party has not fully recovered from

-Amended party constitution

-Changeover of party leadership from Ro Teimumu Kepa to Sitiveni Rabuka

-Memorandum of Understanding between SODELPA and the People’s Democratic Party

-Lynda Tabuya’s elevation as a provisional national candidate and sudden prominence in party activities

-Vijay Singh’s on and off election as SODELPA’s vice-president

 

–  Alleged lack of transparency in party decisions at the top leve

Mr Tikoduadua and his team are capitalising on the weaknesses of SODELPA. They are also focusing on FijiFirst’s weak links.

NFP president Pio Tikoduadua.(closest to the camera)

NFP president Pio Tikoduadua.(closest to the camera)

The Fiji Labour Party has also been aiming for iTaukei votes. It’s unclear whether its jump from 3.7 per cent to 5 per cent is due to this or it also includes Indo-Fijian votes in FijiFirst. The poll so far indicates that the majority of Indo-Fijian votes are still with FijiFirst.

Unity Fiji is slowly building its iTaukei support gap recording an increase from 3.1 per cent to 4 per cent this week.

It will be interesting to see what impact Mr Rabuka’s court case will have on the party’s membership.

Last week he polled better than Ro Teimumu, scoring 14.18 per cent, a jump from 11.75 per cent last week. Ro Teimumu dropped from 14.61 per cent to 8.40 per cent.

NFP’s improved standing correlates with its leader Biman Prasad’s result. His votes increased from 8.61 per cent the previous week to 12.48 per cent last week.

NFP leader Biman Prasad.

NFP leader Biman Prasad.

If NFP and Mr Prasad continue at this rate, they could soon overtake SODELPA as the second biggest party after FijiFirst.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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