Analysis

 Rabuka, Proposed Party Create Immediate Impact On Political Landscape: Opinion Poll

Any Government in office now would face the same as FijiFirst is finding out despite all the recent initiatives it implemented. It is still too early to find out its effect on people’s opinions, but random public response obtained by the Fiji Sun showed recipients welcomed it. How that would translate to politi­cal gain remains to be seen.
01 Sep 2021 19:13
 Rabuka, Proposed Party Create Immediate Impact On Political Landscape: Opinion Poll
The Fiji Sun-Western Force Re­search survey results just out show that Mr Rabuka and his proposed party currently lead the race to the elections.

Sitiveni Rabuka and his pro­posed The People’s Alliance have made an immediate im­pact on the political scene, accord­ing to the latest public opinion poll.

The Fiji Sun-Western Force Re­search survey results just out show that Mr Rabuka and his proposed party currently lead the race to the elections.

Mr Rabuka and the proposed par­ty polled 35.9 per cent as preferred Prime Minister and preferred party.

Following closely are Prime Min­ister Voreqe Bainimarama and Fiji­First at 32.2 per cent.

The poll of 1000 eligible voters were conducted over the last two weeks of August.

While the 3.7 per cent gap is small and could change either way given the current political volatility, it is nevertheless a surprise achieve­ment by a new political movement.

It totally overshadows other Oppo­sition political parties which have featured in certain news media.

BENEFICIARIES OF THE CRISIS

Mr Rabuka and his party are ben­eficiaries of the growing body of undecided voters who are stranded because of the adverse impact of the COVID-19 on people’s lives and livelihoods.

Any Government in office now would face the same as FijiFirst is finding out despite all the recent initiatives it implemented. It is still too early to find out its effect on people’s opinions, but random public response obtained by the Fiji Sun showed recipients welcomed it. How that would translate to politi­cal gain remains to be seen.

To put Mr Rabuka’s incursion into the political battlefield we need to look at the statistics closely. It is by no means conclusive and it’s likely to change.

While Mr Rabuka has tried to pro­ject a multiracial image for his pro­posed party, the poll indicates many iTaukei respondents preferred him. His supporters on the ground and in the conservative right wing of SODELPA have been going hard out campaigning among the iTaukei electorate.

Leading the charge on social media is Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya. Their emphasis appeals to the base instincts of the iTaukei. It came to the fore again in the recent debate on the controversial Land Bill 17 over the amendments to the Land Trust Act.

Anything that deals with indig­enous rights and land ownership can be used to evoke emotions and the Opposition capitalised on it al­though the fears were baseless.

RELENTLESS ANTI-PROPAGANDA

The poll also shows that the relent­less anti-Government propaganda by certain sections of the main­stream media and social media is finding traction. When it is repeat­ed so many times even if it is bereft of facts and truth people grow to believe it.

Mr Rabuka’s re-emergence and quick rise in popularity have been helped by the split in SODELPA.

He is by far more popular than SODELPA party leader Viliame Gavoka. The poll confirms a grow­ing body of opinions in SODELPA that feels that the party should look at the possibility of choosing a new leader to give Mr Rabuka stronger competition.

Mr Gavoka is tracking at 15 per cent in third place.

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad is in fourth place with 7.6 per cent. That’s a major drop from 15 per cent he once en­joyed.

Unity Fiji leader Savenaca Narube at 4.7 per cent and Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry at 2.9 per cent are languishing at the bot­tom. That comes as no surprise.

If the current situation persists then those at the bottom could be squeezed out. NFP could also be in jeopardy and the possibility that it could lose its three seats in Parlia­ment cannot be ruled out.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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