23 Nov 2010

Polls in Tonga indicate pro-democracy MPs may do well in general elections

10:58 am on 23 November 2010

The latest poll in Tonga indicates candidates who pushed for political change in the island nation may win half the seats allocated to ordinary voters in Thursday's election.

Taken last week on the main island, the Tongan Media Council poll of 2 thousand four hundred people has a margin of error of six per cent.

Richard Pamatatau reports.

"Changes in the electoral system mean for the first time ordinary people will vote in the majority of MPs. The long time campaigners for political change Akilisi Pohiva, Clive Edwards and Isileli Pulu are well ahead of rivals while their associates also lead in their electorates. But a member of the Tonga Media Council, Kalafi Moala, says it is unlikely they will hold the balance of power. Mr Moala says some conservative and well known former government senior staff may also win seats."