[No 27 /2014]
[May 20 2014]
The UFDF said today that with 40,085 signatures on its registration documents, the proposed Fiji First would appear to be well ahead of the other parties in terms of support. However when one considers the manner in which the signatures were obtained, and how the outcome compares to the Fiji Sun’s weekly poll a completely different picture emerges
Firstly, one must take into account the circumstances of the four opposition parties. Two had just 28 days in which to collect their signatures while the other two parties had a little longer. Between them they collected 30,267 signatures. These were gathered by small bands of loyal supporters moving around the country, with no publicity or media hype or huge deployment of resource.
Fiji First on the other hand took more than 14 months to collect its signatures. This, as we all saw, was accompanied by a massive publicity and promotional campaign. There was lavish use of government resources and the hand out of millions of dollars in development funds and strategically planned government “road shows” to secure support for the proposed Fiji First. This included Ministers announcing their candidacy for the proposed party to add to the hype.
The May 10th weekly Fiji Sun poll has Frank Bainimarama as the 83% preferred Prime Minister and all other leaders collectively at 17%. And the yet-to-be registered Fiji First is the 64% preferred political party, while the rest collectively are at 23%.
So when we look at the signatures obtained by the two groups, Fiji First vs Opposition Parties, we must note that Fiji First has had 14 months to collect its signatures. The launch and collection drive were a mere publicity stunt to camouflage the fact that the majority of the signatures were undoubtedly obtained before they launched their party. The opposition had less than 15% of the time that Fiji First had to collect their signatures. Taking all this into account the following results emerge when related to the latest Fiji Sun poll:-
Preferred Prime Minister: The poll states that opposition leaders collectively have 17% support, therefore the 30,267 signatures their parties collected must represent that 17%? If that is so, then at 83% preferred Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama should have registered 147,774 signatures of support? After all he had 14 months to do it in and all the resources of government at his disposal! Yet Frank Bainimarma failed to achieve this and fell short by a staggering 107,691 or -73% signatures of support than the poll suggests he has.
Preferred Political Party: Again, if we assume the polls collective percentage support for the four opposition parties is 23% versus 64% for the yet to be registered Fiji First, then the 30,267 signatures collected by the opposition parties must represent that 23%. Therefore Fiji First with a commanding 64% preferred party lead, despite not being registered should have delivered 84,221 signatures. They failed to do this and fell short by more than 44,138 or -52% signatures of support that the polls suggests they have.
Authorized By: UFDF