Poll shows Dr Timothy Harris on course for second term in St Kitts and Nevis

Poll shows Dr Timothy Harris on course for second term in St Kitts and Nevis

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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THE St Kitts-Nevis Team Unity Government, led by Dr Timothy Harris, should be on its way to a second term in general elections, due in May, according the latest opinion poll done by CADRES.

According to the poll, when electors were asked which party had the best chance of winning the election, 43 per cent said Team Unity and 32 per cent for Denzil Douglas' St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party. However, 24 per were uncommitted, while one per cent would opt for another party/independent candidate.

Team Unity holds seven of the 11 seats in the St Kitts-Nevis legislature — five in St Kitts and two of three in Nevis. The Labour Party has three seats in St Kitts and its coalition partner, Nevis Reformation Party, one seat in Nevis.

Said CADRES: “This would of course present a scenario where the uncommitted vote was large enough to alter the course of the election; however, CADRES has consistently applied this vote along historic lines, with considerable success regionally in terms of its projections. In this regard, CADRES is projecting a level of support for Team Unity of 54 per cent which computes to a swing of four per cent in Team Unity's favour, which we believe is sufficient for it to successfully defend all the seats it currently has and threaten one additional seat in St Kitts.

“This swing projection is statistically similar to that of 2018, suggesting that the political environment continues to be more favourable to Team Unity as this time.”

The pollster said approximately 1,000 people in all 11 federal constituencies, using a methodology that is consistent with that which was used with all previous national surveys in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, were surveyed.

At the same time, the poll, done last October and released recently, found that 53 per cent of Kittitians and Nevisians believed that the two-island federation was on the right track or heading in the right direction, while 24 per cent believed that the country was on the wrong track.

CADRES said: “In addition, the survey was particularly useful in helping to tell the story of an evolving political outlook in the federation, as comparisons with 2018 data were possible. As such, CADRES also asked persons about the issue of greatest concern to them and on this occasion, it was the cost of living (17 per cent). It might be recalled that in 2018 the issue of greatest concern was crime, and this was the main focus of 61 per cent of the population; hence the dramatic shift in terms of the country's main focus speaks volumes about the ability of the Government to succeed in this regard.”

At the same time, CADRES said the more significant political findings relate to leadership, with the leadership of Team Unity preferred over the alternative. It said 53 per cent of electors preferred the leadership of Dr Harris' Team Unity, compared to 39 per cent preferring the leadership of Douglas' Labour Party.

“The movement regarding leadership within parties is also interesting, as in 2018 the non-Douglas options in the Labour Party totalled five per cent while non-Harris options in Team Unity totalled 27 per cent. On this occasion there has been considerable consolidation within Team Unity, with non-Harris options totalling 13 per cent, while the situation within the Labour Party remained the same.

“The other noteworthy observation relating to leadership is the fact that Harris leads at this time among uncommitted voters as 29 per cent of these persons said they would prefer to be led by him, while 22 per cent opted for the leadership of Douglas. Therefore, Opposition Leader Douglas continues to trail PM Harris both in terms of committed and uncommitted support,” said CADRES.

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