13 September 2013: With the elections for the Northern Provincial Councils coming up next week, most residents of the Northern Province remain optimistic that it will be a free and fair election. This was revealed in an opinion poll conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in August 2013 in the run up to the Northern Provincial Council Elections.

The poll did not intend to forecast the election results but rather to assess the views of the people with regard to the upcoming election, issues that are important to the community and changes experienced since the end of war.

Job opportunities, improving education, housing and improving roads and transport appear to be the most important issues for people and their community. In the last four years, majority of the respondents (63.7%) believe that development in the Northern Province has somewhat improved while 26.1% say that it has greatly improved. When it comes to personal security, 41.3% state that it has somewhat improved in the last four years while 21.6% say that there has been no change. Almost 40% believe that their livelihoods have somewhat improved while 33.9% say that there has been no change.

When selecting candidates the most important factor that matter to most respondents is that candidates are engaged in community service and village development while honest, suitable candidates with good policies come a close second. Most respondents appear optimistic about the upcoming election with 34.2% believing that the NPC elections will be free and fair and while 24% say they may be free and fair. Almost 34% of respondents believe that the TNA will win the elections while 21.7% believe it will be the UPFA.

Provincial Elections in the Northern Province will be held on the 21st of September 2013  – the first time in 25 years. According to the Department of Elections, 714,488 people are registered to vote.

Download the report (as PDFs) in English, Tamil or Sinhala.

Read online in English, Tamil or Sinhala.

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Social Indicator (SI) is the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and was established in September 1999, filling a longstanding vacuum for a permanent, professional and independent polling facility in Sri Lanka on social and political issues.  Driven by the strong belief that polling is an instrument that empowers democracy, SI has been conducting polls on a large range of socio‐economic and political issues since its inception.

Please contact Iromi Perera at [email protected] for further information.