26 Jan 2005

Poll of electors in Tahiti-Moorea shows Tahoeraa Huiraatira leading declared preferences

10:43 am on 26 January 2005

A French Polynesian newspaper has published for the first time an opinion poll on voting intentions ahead of next month's by-election in the Tahiti-Moorea electorate.

The Depeche de Tahiti has questioned nearly one thousand voters and found that almost a quarter favoured the ruling Tahoeraa Huiraatira party of Gaston Flosse - the highest rating of any party.

Almost 20 percent said they would vote for the Oscar Temaru-led Union for Democracy coalition while 18 percent said they favoured the Alliance for a New Democracy.

The poll also found that more than 36 percent declined to give a preference.

Among the preferred leaders, Beatrice Vernaudon and Nicole Bouteau rated highest, ahead of Oscar Temaru, Philip Schyle and Gaston Flosse.

Under the territory's new electoral system, the party coming first will get a bonus of a third of all seats, with the remaining two thirds being dsitributed in proportion to the parties' strength.

Voting will be for 37 MPs after the French supreme court annulled part of the result of last May's general election because of irregularities.