A second national poll in the last 24-hours is indicating that the governing Jamaica Labour Party, JLP, is on course to win this Thursday’s by-election in East Portland.

That’s according to the Jamaica Observer-Nationwide Johnson polls that’s just been released. The Johnson findings show the JLP’s candidate, Annmarie Vaz, on track to defeat the opposition People’s National Party’s Damion Crawford.

This morning, another national poll, the RJR-Gleaner/Don Anderson survey found that Mrs. Vaz was leading Mr. Crawford by almost 7-percentage points.

The Johnson poll results make dismal reading for the PNP. The party has won East Portland in 7 consecutive general elections since 1989. It’s defending a majority of 2,276. Based on conventional thinking, East Portland should be safe political territory for the Dr. Peter Phillips-led opposition party. But it’s now struggling to cling onto the seat.

Hours after Don Anderson found the PNP trailing by almost 7-percentage points, the Observer/Nationwide Johnson polls are indicating this afternoon that the PNP’s Damion Crawford is heading for a crushing defeat.

According to Johnson, that lead is ten-percent. This ten-point lead is consistent with a similar finding when the Johnson team polled the constituency on March 1 and 2, last month. The team went back into East Portland last Friday and Saturday. As they did on March 1 and 2, they interviewed 480 registered voters.

In the one month between the two polls, both the JLP and PNP increased by 5-percentage points their support in East Portland. While the number of undecided voters fell by 3-percentage points. As the campaigns intensified over the last 4 weeks, the unfavourable rating of the PNP’s Damion Crawford has tripled from 13-per cent to 44-per cent, while that of the JLP’s Annmarie Vaz increased by 10-percentage points from 17-to 27-per cent.

Simultaneously, Mrs. Vaz’s favourable ratings has improved from 50-to-53-per cent.¬†While that of Mr. Crawford has decreased by 5-percentage points from 41-per cent to 36-per cent.

The JLP-commissioned Derek Ramsamooj polls also show the governing party with a big double digit lead. See Tuesday’s Observer newspaper for more details on the Bill Johnson poll results.