Employment rises in General Election battle

Nasik Swami (Fiji Times) 

An independent national poll conducted last month revealed that the biggest issues in the 2018 General Election would be cost of living and employment.

Cost of living in Fiji was ranked the Number One issue by 46% of those polled, followed by Employment with 32% of the respondents.

The Tebbutt-Times Poll was conducted from February 4 to February 7, 2017 by internationally-accredited world standard market researcher, Tebbutt Research, from a random national sample of 1001 adults 18 years and over.

Those interviewed were asked, “Looking forward to the 2018 elections, what do you think the top three election issues will be?”

Uniform opinion

The results showed uniformity across the nation, with the top two answers being the same across all demographic measures – gender, age, ethnicity, urban/rural and division.

The issues raised included Wages (21%), Infrastructure and Development (21%) and Poverty (20%). The only exceptions that were noted came from women who said crime was a major problem.

Good governance and eradication of poverty were mentioned as major challenges for any government.

For those aged 45 years and over, education replaced wages in the number five spot and for those in the Northern/Eastern divisions, land issues ranked high, pushing wages to a lower position.

Demographic differences

The Poll said that each of the top five responses were named by at least one in five people. Other answers given as part of the top issues included education (15%), Crime (12%), and Land Issues (12%).

Significant demographic differences were seen for Land Issues (mentioned twice as frequently by rural respondents than those in urban locations), Political Stability (7.3% iTaukei vs 1.8% for Fijians of Indian descent), and jobs (40% of people between 18-29 years compared with 23% of those aged 45 and over).

While most people provided three answers, 15% were unsure of what the issues would be, and 2% declined to answer.

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Photo Caption:

Bainimarama could face a tough fight in General Election 2018

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