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Poll comes close to predicting election results

Wednesday June 20, 2018 Written by Published in Politics

Last Tuesday, CINews released the results of its 2018 Cook Islands General Election poll. The poll had a sample size of 100 voters from all constituencies and asked a total of six questions relating to the election.

The poll successfully predicted that neither party would hold a majority of 13 seats, which is required to govern alone, after the election. In fact, the poll predictions compared to the preliminary results are surprisingly similar.

The poll results gave the Democratic Party a total of 11 seats, the Cook Islands Party a total of 10, and had three seats undecided.

The election saw these predictions mostly proven right, with the Demos winning 11 seats, the CIP 10, two independents gaining representation, and OCI retaining the seat of Tupapa-Maraerenga.

Te-Hani Brown was successfully predicted to cause an upset and defeat Nandi Glassie for the seat of Tengatangi-Areora-Ngatiarua, which she did 61 votes to 42.

Agriculture minister Kiriau Turepu was also expected to have a battle on his hands for the seat of Matavera. This prediction proved to be correct, with Turepu going down 251 votes to 266 against Demo candidate Vaitoti Tupa.

The poll also predicted that the tightly contested seat of Titikaveka would change hands to the CIP. This was proven to be somewhat correct, with Demo candidate Selina Napa only receiving 31.7 per cent of all votes cast in the constituency.

CIP candidate Moeroa Thomas-Tamangaro was 19 votes behind Napa, receiving 27.1 per cent of the constituency’s vote. However, if the vote had not been split by what were described as “three CIP candidates”, the CIP would have likely won the seat easily.

CINews also predicted the seat of Penrhyn to be an “interesting watch”, with the CIP’s Willie John going up against Demo candidate Wilkie Rasmussen. What was not foreseen however, was independent candidate Robert Tapaitau stealing the show. Tapaitau won the seat with 19 votes to spare.

Overall, the poll successfully predicted the results of 16 out of 24 constituencies, with all remaining seats being identified as “too close to call”.

When asked to identify the most pressing issue facing the country, 22 per cent of respondents identified financial mismanagement and corruption as their main concern. This was followed closely by health on 21 per cent and roads with 20 per cent.

The environment was a main area of concern for 11 per cent of respondents, while 13 per cent identified a variety of other issues, including Chinese aid and banking.

When asked if they thought the Cook Islands should keep accepting aid from China, 61 per cent of those surveyed answered no. Twenty-five per cent said they did not know and 14 per cent were in support of continuing to receive aid from the super-power.

Asked if they thought there was a need for political reform, 63 per cent of respondents answered yes and 13 per cent said no. A further 24 per cent were unsure.

On the question of whether the Cook Islands should place a limit on the number of tourists allowed to visit the country, 50 per cent of respondents said no, 29 per cent said yes, and 21 per cent were unsure.

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