The ruling New Patriotic Party and the opposition National Democratic Congress have causes to worry since both parties are losing grips or their strongholds. Residents in the strongholds of these parties seem to have lost hope in their Members of Parliament resulting in the apathy that is likely to set in in these places as 2020 general election draws nigh. In both the Ashanti Region and the Volta Region, both parties are likely to suffer huge blows. This is according to a study conducted by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana.
According to the study, in the three regions where NPP has its highest number of seats, the
support for the incumbents MPs was lower. Out of 44 seats in the Ashanti Region, only 45.8% of the respondents in the survey said, they would vote for their MPs in the 2020 general election. In the Eastern Region with 27 seats, only 42.3% will still vote for their MPs whiles only 31.3% of the respondents said they will vote for the NPP MPs in the Greater Accra Region where the party has 21 seats.
On the side of the NDC, the party seem to be losing grips of their world bank, Volta Region. According to the survey out of the 18 seats currently being held by the party in the Volta Region, only 56.4% said they will vote for their MPs. A scenario which is very uncharacteristic of the Volta Region and the NDC where the party is noted for enjoying sometimes as high as 95% during some elections. In the Greater Accra where the party has 13 seats, only 39.5% said they will vote for their MPs whiles only 36.9% will vote for their MPs in the Upper East Region where the party has 12 seats.
Meanwhile only 95% MPs out of the 275 MPs in parliament will be maintaining their seats according to the survey. Out of the 95 only one MP has 90%+ assurance. Eight MPs have 80%+ and 10 have 70%+. Others are 60%+ (26) & 50%+ (50).
To contest or not to contest
A whooping 46.7% of the respondents do not want their MPs to contest again whiles 10.9% are undecided. In effect, only 42.4% want their MPs to seek re-election.
LONG TERM & FIRST TERM MPs
Normally it is the long-term MPs (‘the Mugabes’) who are the target for ‘DON’T CONTEST AGAIN’. But from the study, while a third of the long term MPs (in their fourth-seventh) term still have more than 50% support of their constituents to seek election again in 2020, two thirds of the first term MPs do not have such support.
In parliamentary terms, ‘the longer, the better’ but in our context, first term MPs are increasingly becoming endangered species. For instance, in 2016 more than half of the 50 incumbents who lost the elections were first term MPs.
The survey therefore recommended that “the peculiar challenges confronting first term MPs must be addressed to prevent a repeat of 2016 in 2020.”