Editorial: Voter preferences reflect growing economic/welfare awareness


A recent survey conducted by the Data Insight Group | JOB Group Limited and Chartered Media Consult, which polled voter sentiments and preferences of 134 participants, revealed a significant shift in voter priorities leading up to the December 2024 general elections.

The study highlighted that the economy, employment opportunities and education emerged as the most pressing factors influencing voter choices, displacing healthcare from its previous position as the topmost concern.

For instance, 73.5 percent of respondents identified the economy as their primary concern, reflecting widespread apprehension and interest in economic stability and growth. Employment follows closely behind, with 55.3 percent of voters expressing significant concern about job opportunities and labour market dynamics.

According to the Ghana Statistical Service’s (GSS) Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey Quarter Three Labour Bulletin, the unemployment rate in the country increased to 14.7 percent for the first three quarters of 2023. This statistic indicates a rise in unemployment.

The number of unemployed young people between the ages of 15 and 35 also rose during this period, going from roughly 1.2 million to over 1.3 million.

Also, education has emerged as a key determinant for many voters, with 35.6 percent highlighting the importance of educational reforms, access to quality education and opportunities for lifelong learning.

Majority of voters view the economy, employment and education as very critical. The jury is still out on the efficacy of recent educational policies, especially the flagship Free Senior High School (SHS) programme.

The shift in voter priorities away from healthcare, which traditionally held a prominent position in political discourse, signals a nuanced evolution in societal concerns.

The electorate is becoming increasingly politically suave and is demanding more from duty-bearers. They no longer settle for empty promises or monetary handouts but aspire to see tangible benefits that will improve their lives.

It reinforces the notion that our democracy is gradually maturing, and the electorate are becoming more politically astute. This is a positive sign, suggesting that the most capable individuals will hold political office and the country will witness the much-needed development it requires.

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