Jamaica’s Opposition, the People’s National Party (PNP), is under major pressure to review and renew the organisation following its devastating loss in the recent general elections.
However, that’s easier said than done with party president, Peter Phillips, announcing he will step down following the defeat, and his likely replacements all in flux.
Peter Bunting, who mounted a serious challenge against Phillips last October, lost his Manchester Central constituency; Lisa Hanna barely held on to her St Ann South Eastern seat, previously considered a party stronghold; and Mark Golding, St Andrew South’s Member of Parliament, only recently indicated he may even consider the possibility.
But those three are the widely-held favourites to succeed Phillips, and it seems the voters agree.
A Bill Johnson survey, commissioned by the Jamaica Observer, found that 20 per cent of respondent thought Hanna should replace Phillips, 10 per cent favoured Golding while eight per cent said Bunting.
The poll was conducted between September 11 to 13 – more than a week after the crushing September 3 vote – and included 1,000 voting-age Jamaicans islandwide. The sampling error is plus or minus three per cent.
According to the poll, among respondents in the 18-24 age group, Hanna has 30 per cent support, while Golding has four per cent. In the 25-34 age group she has 22 per cent support, compared to eight per cent for Golding, while in the 35-44 and 45-54 age groups Hanna enjoys 15 and 19 per cent, respectively, compared to 12 and nine per cent, respectively for Golding.
In the 55-64 and 65 and older age groups Golding commands 18 per cent and 19 per cent support, respectively, compared to Hanna’s 11 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.
Social media users, who have never been known to remain silent on an issue of national importance, or any issue tbh, had some thoughts:
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One user said comments should steer away from discriminatory remarks which may weaken their otherwise valid points.
Perhaps like the remark below…
Some were concerned that Hanna’s 31-point victory may see the party without a leader come the next election.
While others were concerned by being distracted by the former beauty queen’s good looks and admirable oratory skills.
And even more were taken by the fairness, of lack thereof, of comments made about Hanna.
But many seemed to agree with the pollster, Hanna may be the best choice for the PNP as it looks to rebuild and move forward.
Hanna has made no formal declaration of an intention to run for PNP president, but whatever her decision, the next few weeks will be telling for the 82-year-old party now in disarray.