Election year polls and what they tell us

Election year polls and what they tell us

In 2016,a research done by the University of Ghana predicted victory for the current governing party. The then-ruling party, the opposition party currently, rubbished the polls. 


The then-government communicators doubted the integrity and professionalism of the researchers and ran down the report and even Ghana’s foremost institution of higher learning.

The then opposition welcomed the news and even engaged further with the researchers to understand the research basis and incorporated the findings into their strategy, so we were told.

When the shoe is on the other foot, it is always difficult to defend a principled stand when it comes to political communication. 

In this election year, a new poll has been published by Global Info Analytics. The findings are not too different from the 2016 election polls conducted by the University of Ghana. 

The poll predicts that the opposition party is “in a comfortable lead” as is the case in every eight-year election cycle.

Among other things, the sampled population disapproves of the government's handling of the economy and gives yet another very low disapproval rating of the government.

Our concern though is that the economy is the topmost of all the respondent’s concerns and it sends a clear signal that there is a need to fix what is broken in the economy.

For every election though, especially in this country, we must emphasise that the economy has always been the topmost issue for voters. This year’s, however, has an added impetus to it, having declared that we are broke and cannot service our debts.

There is no political slang to the fact that the current economic condition is tough on the pocket of most Ghanaians.

Inflation is hovering around 25 per cent, interest rates are at an all-time high. Electricity bills have shot up by over 50 per cent, gas prices have gone through the roof, school fees are increasing, fuel prices are on the ascendency and import duties are at dizzying heights. The currency, the cedi has a mind of its own and would not yield to policy response.

If these indicators do not tell of an economy in distress, what then is? So, Ghanaians are feeling the heat and do not need any poll or survey to tell the ordinary Ghanaian their present reality.

Businesses tell us that the cost of doing business is very unbearable. At the same time, the tax authorities are on their “best behaviour”— chasing everybody and anybody in their sight. 

On the versed issue of unemployment, a look at the faces of graduates who have no employment opportunities should send a clear signal to those entrusted with power that there is the need to redouble their efforts so this does not become a canker that blows up in our faces in the not-too-distant future.

The Graphic Business is of the view that this is the time for reflection. It is certainly not the time to throw out the findings of such a useful exercise as a poll that after all is telling us the realities on the ground irrespective of how bitter the pill is in our mouth.

The Graphic Business wishes government communicators would be humble enough to admit the challenges with the economy as the President and his Vice have done so on many occasions and to provide hope for the hopeless.

It will be disastrous or to put it frankly, suicidal for any political party to understate the significance of such polls, especially coming from credible institutions. 

The least one can do is to pick the document and analyse it for what it is worth.

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