A number factors will play a critical and crucial role in who will be the eventual winner in this race.
The incumbent Governor Parkop has a head start with all the programs he has instituted during his tenure in the capital city.
However, the voting population would have increased over the past five years, not only in NCD but all around the country. Whether new voters have registered will be a major problem. The number of candidates increased by 11 from 27 in the 2012 election to 38 candidates, this will surely see a split of votes.
The Common Roll will also play a major part in seeing who will vote, and those eligible voters who will miss out from voting because they have not registered, or because their name(s) have not been included in the Common Roll, or that their names have been erased from the Roll.
Another interesting fact is that this will be the third time in the history of PNG elections that the Preferential Voting system will be used. This means that three preferences are marked by a single voter for three different candidates according to their preference. Vote 1, Vote 2 and Vote 3.
There will also be two candidates which one voter will cast their preference for. The Regional seat candidate and the Open seat candidate. This means the voter has six (6) powerful preferences when he or she will cast. So think carefully before you cast your six preferences.
Please note that the “First past the post” system was first used from 1977 to the 2002 national elections. The Preferential Voting System was introduced in 2007 and 2012 and will continue in 2017.
Voters and candidates and political parties are aware and will be more systematic in the way they will compaign beccause all three votes hold power.
The NCD Regional seat will surely be an exciting seat to watch closely.
Here are some statistics which should shed some light on how the elections could transpire in the NCD Regional seat.
Incumbent NCD Governor Powes Parkop comfortably won the National Capital District Regional seat in the 2012 elections with a total of 28,684 votes.
His first preference votes totalled 26.6 percent while his “after votes - second and third preference votes” totalled a high 40.7 percent.
This was from a total of 27 candidates who contested the seat. The data on PNG elections from the Development Policy Centre of the Australian National University noted all the results of the 27 candidates.
However, Loop PNG will give the result of the top five and other interesting points during polling for this seat.
A close second to Parkop was the former governor Wari Vele who polled 19,382 with a first preference of 18.0 percent.
Michael Kandiu followed on third spot with a total of 12,919 with a 12.0 percent first preference votes.
In fourth was Robert Agarobe with 10,418 with a first preference vote of 9.7 percent, while in fifth place came former Ambassador Aiwa Olmi on 6,865 votes and a first preference vote of 6.4 per cent.
Out of the 27 candidates there were five women who participated. Margaret Loko polled the highest with 1,857, Veronica Dalaka Amnol polled 1,846, Diana Chung 393 while Linda Arau Tule polled 309.
It is also quite astounding to know that the Informal Votes for the NCD regional seat totalled a very high 5,681 which has a 5.3 percent first preference vote.
Data from the PNG Elections from the Development Policy Centre of ANU also showed history of the number of candidates that contested in the NCD electorate.
In 1977 a total of five people contested the NCD Regional seat, in 1982 it jumped to 14, in 1987 it went to 18. By 1997 the number increased to 25 candidates. 2002 saw a drop to 19 and in 2007 recorded another drop to 7 until 2012 when the number shot up again to 27.
Meanwhile, Robert Agarobe owner of Helifix will be flying over to contest the Central Regional seat this time, while John Endemongo Kua who has the “never say die” spirit, who contested the NCD Regional seat in 2012 and polled 254 votes, will again contest the seat.
Whatever it will be, people are urged to vote carefully and to understand that all your six votes can make the important change you have been praying for.