Contrasting St Kitts polls

Don Anderson, Bill Johnson report opposing survey results

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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The four-year-old Team Unity Government of Dr Timothy Harris in St Kitts and Nevis has a commanding 16 percentage point lead over the Opposition Labour Party, according to a recent survey conducted by Jamaican pollster Don Anderson.

Anderson's poll is in sharp contrast to the findings of a survey conducted by pollster Bill Johnson, which is showing the Opposition St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party winning six out of eight seats if an election had been called between June and July 2019.

According to Anderson, fieldwork for his poll ended on August 2 and 820 interviews were conducted across all 11 constituencies in St Kitts and Nevis.

“Team Unity, under Dr Harris, is comfortably ahead in seven of these 11 constituencies, including two of three in Nevis. Based on the trend over the past year of surveys, Team Unity is poised to retain at least these seven seats when elections are called,” Anderson said.

He added that one of the four seats currently held by the Opposition Labour Party is now regarded as marginal, given current voter sentiment.

“A significant number of persons in St Kitts and Nevis are very happy with the way the country has progressed since Team Unity took office,” Anderson reported. “Ninety per cent of all persons interviewed state that the situation in St Kitts and Nevis is now either better than it was three years ago or about the same. Very few persons then (10 per cent) feel that things in St Kitts and Nevis are worse now than three years ago.”

According to Anderson, 74 per cent of respondents said they felt that their own personal situation is now appreciably better or the same as it was three years ago when the Government took office.

“The Team Unity Government has placed controlling and reducing crime and violence high on its agenda and one of its prime challenges. The country on the whole is very supportive of the strategies that have been put in place to deal with crime and violence,” the pollster said.

He said that 66 per cent of all persons interviewed were fully aware of the specific crime-fighting/crime-reduction social intervention programme recently put in place by the Government. In addition, 81 per cent of them are firmly convinced that these new crime-fighting initiatives will bear fruit.

“Over and above this, 62 per cent feel that the efforts are already reaping success, a factor which is contributing to a greater sense of peace of mind within the country,” Anderson said.

Regarding the Government's EC$500 support allowance established as a social intervention strategy to assist the poor, Anderson said his poll found that 64 per cent of all persons interviewed believe it is a good programme and will continue to support it.

Said Anderson: “Both the crime-fighting initiative and this poverty reduction programme have won the support of persons irrespective of party affiliation. Indeed, the awareness and acceptance of these two programmes have been highest in some of the Labour-held constituencies.”

He also said that 78 per cent of all persons interviewed give the Government “a fair to very good rating for their performance since taking office in 2015”.

“As a result, of the persons who are committed to vote at this time, 58 per cent of them say they will definitely vote for Team Unity, led by Dr Harris, for a second term in office, whilst 42 per cent say they will vote for Labour and NRP under Dr Denzil Douglas,” the pollster reported.

Anderson said that if an election was called now, 52 per cent of the 58 per cent who will vote for Team Unity “speak to the significant work that the Government has done to fix the infrastructure of the country”.

“Thirty-five per cent are pleased with the Team Unity Government because of the EC$500 social assistance programme, whilst 48 per cent simply believe that the Team Unity Government is doing a good job and should be given the responsibility again to run the country and to continue this path of progress and positive change,” Anderson said.

“All in all, the data point conclusively to the fact that the Team Unity Government is very well-regarded and is strongly poised to be returned to office come the next election,” added the pollster, who has over 45 years' experience in the conduct of market research and political polling in the Caribbean, United States and England, working for major international financial institutions and a very large number of corporate institutions and other private and public sector organisations.

In the contrasting Johnson poll, the results of which the Jamaica Observer published last week, 48 per cent of the people questioned felt that Dr Douglas, who leads the Labour Party, would do a better job running the country, compared to 29 per cent who think Dr Harris is up to the job.

Johnson also reported that 63 per cent of the people questioned gave Dr Douglas a favourable rating, while 27 per cent gave him an unfavourable rating.

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