Sanctus – Sanctus City Councillor Ethan Ringrose is leading contender Culture Secretary Amanda Thomas 48-46 as the two go into the final days of campaigning before the special Democratic Left Party Congress this Saturday which will see one of them elected leader of the party. The polling, which was originally done last weekend and then hurriedly redone after Nicola Allman dropped out of the race, puts Ringrose’s lead within the margin of error, meaning it really is anyone’s game at this point.
Ringrose, who lead the last three-way poll with 38%, has not gained as many points as he would have liked following Allman’s exit from the race, gaining 10 points, with Amanda Thomas jumping from 27; Allman was at 31% in her final polling, but some commentators are saying this was artificially inflated from people who were originally supporters of Thomas, but turned off by her aggressive debate performances – Thomas had been leading previous polls at about 45%, with this final poll suggesting those who had temporarily left her were coming back.
There is still a considerable number of undecideds or don’t knows – about 6% – which means it is this group that will be kingmakers. Nicola Allman has been out on Ringrose’s campaign trail this week, hitting various DLP branch meetings and telling voters there why Ringrose should be their choice. For Thomas, Equality Secretary Ann Ramirez, and Health Secretary Linda Kelly, who is retiring at this election, have been doing their utmost to hit the meetings that Thomas couldn’t.
The votes will be cast this Saturday at the DLP Special Congress between 12 and 4pm. All voting will be done in person, with proxy votes permitted. It’s believed the tally will be counted and the winner known by about 10pm. Outgoing leader Charlene Hendry, who declared her support for Allman, has said she won’t be making any further endorsements following Allman’s departure from the race. Another big Allman supporter, Homeland Security Secretary Kathryn Stewart, has said she will be voting for Ringrose.
GWEN COPLEY, Political Correspondent