30,000 less votes for JLP than 2016

The Jamaica Labour Party scored a convincing victory over the Peoples National Party winning 49 of the 63 seats that were up for grabs and winning 406,764 of the popular votes, to 14 seats from 305,157 for the PNP, in an election, with a fall of 171,000 compared to the 2016 elections.
Three seats were won by less than 25 votes, including one by the JLP by less than 10 votes and one by just 125 votes. Both parties had a lower vote count than in the 2016 general elections. The JLP polled 30,000 votes less than the 2016 results and the PNP dropped 128,500 or by 30 percent. Bill Johnson Polls done in early July had pointed to 30 percent of PNP supporters in the 2016 election stating that they would not vote for the party in 2020, with 22 percent saying the JLP government was doing a very good job of running the country and 45 percent saying they were doing a good job.
The 2016 election the JLP polled 436,972 votes and the PNP 433,735 making for a total of 882,389 votes but in the 2020 election saw only 712,000 votes cast a stunning fall. The spreading of the COVID virus seems to have had a significant effect of voters, with Public opinion polls conducted a week from the elections, indicating a fall in the decision to vote based on the spread.
IC Insider.com had forecasted that the PNP would pick up around 10 seats, with a few seats that would become marginal that they could go either way. The forecast was based on results of the public opinion polls done by the three local pollsters, Johnson, Anderson and Blue Dot that all forecasted voter results of 58 percent or more for the JLP. Preliminary results show the JLP getting 57.1 percent of the votes to the PNP’s 42.9 percent that was within the margin of error of the polls.
No political party in the history of polling in Jamaica, going back to the 1970s, has had such a lead in public opinion polls a few weeks from the actual election and none with a lead over 6 percent a year from the elections, has lost. Those are daunting statistics that confronted the People National Party as they prepared for the national polls.
While the PNP will need to determine why there was a sharp fall in their support over two elections, the JLP seems to have work to do to find out why with an increase in the voters’ list since 2016 they could not pull out more votes.
The results of the election and public opinion polls, clearly indicate that facts are facts and persons making their views known must take trends over many years that have proven to be correct, seriously and not based their views on gut feelings.

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