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Fijian Prime Minister and FijiFirst party leader Voreqe Bainimarama is still the preferred choice for the top job despite recording a drop in the latest Tebbutt-Times poll.
In the latest poll,Bainimarama registered 34 per cent support compared with 44 per cent in the February poll.
On the other hand, Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Sitiveni Rabuka has gradually climbed up a notch in his rating as the preferred choice for prime minister for Fiji.
Rabuka registered 16 per cent support in the Tebbutt-Times poll's second survey conducted this week.
In the February survey this year,Rabuka polled 11 per cent support.
National Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad's support also increased in the May poll.
Prof Prasad registered a 3 per cent support in the new results compared with less than 1 per cent in the February poll.
In the survey, that was conducted by internationally-accredited world standard market researcher Tebbutt Research between May 8-12, 2017, a total of 1003 eligible voters nationwide were asked: If there was an election held in Fiji tomorrow, who would you prefer to see succeed as prime minister?
In the poll where respondents were asked openly and could suggest any person they wished, Bainimarama was the top pick.
“Sitiveni Rabuka is the clear second choice. When compared to the results of the Tebbutt-Times poll conducted in February, Mr Rabuka has gained five percentage points, moving from 11 per cent to 16 per cent support overall, and this increase has come predominantly from outside the Central Division,” the poll noted.
“Bainimarama now polls 10 percentage points lower than in February. Some of this change is explained by an increase in the number of undecided Fijians of Indian descent, along with the increased appeal of Rabuka in the Western and Northern divisions.”
Another notable data was the number of undecided voters which remained similar between the two surveys - 35 per cent unsure in May compared with 36 per cent in February, along with 7 per cent declining to answer in May versus 5 per cent in the previous poll.
“The proportion of undecided iTaukei voters decreased, while there was an increase among Fijians of Indian descent.
“A significant 35 per cent of those eligible to vote are undecided, meaning that more than one in three don't know who they would prefer to see succeed as prime minister.”
A total of 5 per cent chose to support "other" political leaders who are not in Parliament.
Meanwhile, former diplomat, Robin Nair has joined Fiji's Opposition National Federation Party, Islands Business reports.
He joins former Cabinet Minister, Colonel Pio Tikoduadua, who defected from the ruling Fiji First Party of Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama.
Nair returned to Fiji after the 2006 coup led by Bainimarama to help formulate a new Constitution. He later served in the Foreign Service.
Seen as a supporter of the current government, Nair's move is a slap in the face of the ruling party ahead of the 2018 election.
Nair had described Tikoduadua as a minister who gave fearless advice.
Tikoduadua said Bainimarama, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and their party did not truly support democratic values which they publicly espoused.
SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/ISLANDS BUSINESS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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