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Poll finds:

  • Vincentians most concerned about jobs and employment, crime, the economy, and the cost of living.

  • An overall majority of Vincentians now support the international airport project.

  • Both Gonsalves and Eustace registered improved approval ratings

If general elections were called in October, the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) would have maintained the eight seats it holds and could have won between two and four more, according to a poll conducted last month.

The poll was conduced by Caribbean Development Research Service Inc. (CADRES), headed by regional pollster, Peter W. Wickham

Wickham, in a release this week, said that the poll was conducted in October. However, he did not give any specific indication of the exact time frame.

Also, the release also did not say the size of the sample, the margin of error, demographics of the persons surveyed, or the geographical spread in terms of constituencies from which the sample was taken.

The release however said that persons “on the Vincentian mainland” were surveyed.

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CADRES said that party support was a less significant focus of the survey, but it did collect this data, which reflect “an overall positive support for the ULP government which is above the level that it received in the 2010 election”.

“This implies an electoral swing favouring the ULP, which CADRES now estimates at 2 per cent. If this swing is projected against the results of the last election, the ULP would maintain all the seats it currently has and could potentially capture between two and four seats (if an election were held at the time the survey was conducted),” the release said.

The ULP won 12 of the 15 constituencies when it first came to office in March 2001. There was a repeat of those results in 2015, but the party lost four seats to the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the December 2010 general elections, when there was an 8-7 result.

Gonsalves or Eustace?

CADRES said the poll in October also explored leadership preference, and in this regard Vincentians have indicated a clear preference for Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, while Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, remains the second most popular leader in St. Vincent.

“In the instance of PM Gonsalves, he is now preferred by 61 per cent of Vincentians, while Mr. Eustace is preferred by 38 per cent of Vincentians. These 2013 leadership numbers are both improvements over the 2010 scenario in which PM Gonsalves was preferred by 52 per cent of Vincentians and Eustace by 36 per cent.

The release said that while next general election in SVG is not due until 2015, CADRES considered it prudent to conduct a review of public opinion, especially in light of recent statements about considering decriminalising marijuana for medical purposes along with regional concerns about the economy.

The release said that respondents were asked “a single question relating to the decriminalisation of marijuana” and were given the options that they (i) completely opposed any decriminalisation of marijuana, (ii) supported decriminalisation for medical and religious purposes, or (iii) supported a complete decriminalisation that would include recreational use.

“The results were interesting and suggest that Vincentians are completely divided on this issue since 44 per cent oppose any form of decriminalisation at this time, while a cumulative total of 45 per cent support partial or full decriminalisation, with 11 per cent offering no opinion on the issue,” the release said.

“The quantity of persons not responding to the question (11 per cent) is comparatively low and implies that Vincentians are thinking about this issue and have formed some opinion on it, with those supporting medical and religious decriminalisation (36 per cent) being the single largest group.

“Only 9 per cent of Vincentians support the full decriminalisation of marijuana which would include recreational use. It is also noteworthy that when these data are analysed from the perspective of the political party preferred by respondents on all sides of this issue, there is NO significant correlation,” the release further stated.

“Simply put, this means that Vincentians who support the ULP are no more or less likely to support decriminalisation than Vincentians who support the NDP.”

The release said that when asked about their major issue of concern, the issue of marijuana did not emerge.

“Instead the single largest quantity of respondents indicated that they were most concerned about the issue of Jobs and Employment (37 per cent), followed by Crime (19 per cent), The Economy (18 per cent) and the Cost of Living (14 per cent). This list of concerns does not differ significantly from the last CADRES survey conducted in 2010. The major noticeable difference would be an increased concern over Crime in St Vincent. It is also useful to note that across the region, CADRES has detected a similar preoccupation with issues of an economic nature in our surveys.”

Argyle airport

CADRES also said it was particularly with the construction of the Argyle international airport, which it described as “a controversial preoccupation of the ULP government”.

Respondents were asked if they thought the airport was “worth it” and the single largest quantity (56 per cent) said “Yes” while 30 per cent of Vincentians argued that it was not “worth it”.

“In this instance there was a weak correlation with political party support suggesting that ULP supporters were more inclined to support the airport, than NDP supporters. Notwithstanding, an overall majority of Vincentians now support the airport project,” the release said.

7 replies on “Last month, ULP was favoured for a 4th term in office — poll”

  1. Some people are proactive and some are reactive.
    Some make things happen while others hope things happen.
    Some put strategies in place to win, while others hope things will fall in place.
    Some play hard to win while others just hope the other team will mess up and lose.
    IMO, the NDP is in the second group and that’s why I think the ULP stands a better than 50% chance of being re-elected

  2. Mc Carthy Browne says:

    Who Mr. Peter talk to ULP people alone, wow. i will love for him to say which seats that NDP will loose if general election was to call in October? who pay you Mr. Peter? check your facts again

  3. Urlan Alexander says:

    I REALLY HAD TO LAUGH. I don’t want to think that CADRES is putting their reputation on the line to be supportive of this nonsense of a poll results. So Wickham is saying that there is more support now for ULP than in 2010? Times are harder, crime and cost of living are worst. Unemployment is out of control. Four years of negative growth.The ULP has killed bananas and agriculture and yet they are more favoured to win the elections if they were called in October? Only a fool will give this poll serious thought. The economic situation has worsened a great deal over the 2010 scenario and yet Peter Wickham is predicting a ULP victory with more seats. I believe the poll was done in Victoria Park at the independence rally. it is also clear from his last comment that more ULP supporters were polled. There are others who want to belittle the Vincentian sensibleness and believe that we are a bunch of jackasses that so many things are going wrong but we still rooting for labour. Things have change and so do people. Ralph and the ULP are in their last days

  4. This man Peter W. Wickham of Caribbean Development Research Service Inc. is the same man that the ULP employed to work for them during the elections. He describes himself as a political scientist. He is the ULP organiser of electioneering. It is alleged in the document that he gave away all the ULP secrets to the US Ambassador in Barbados, which is produced in WIKILEAKS.

    What is strange is that his company CADRES of Barbados claimed to have fired him.

    August 30th, 2011, 06Bridgetown239 WIKILEAKS
    Feb 06
    ¶1. (C) Summary: Caribbean political campaigns are awash with money from a variety of sources, particularly wealthy expatriates seeking to influence governments, according to
    regional political consultant Peter Wickham. The availability of money favors ruling parties and has dramatically changed the way campaigns are run, giving inordinate influence to outside consultants, as well as non-nationals and members of the diaspora from whom much of the money is raised.
    ¶2. (C) A sudden injection of US$350,000 in the last two weeks of St. Vincent’s December
    2005 election campaign allowed the ruling Unity Labor Party to sway voters in a handful of hard fought parliamentary races by helping people pay overdue bills, fix leaking roofs,
    and buy groceries.
    ¶3. (C) Campaigns also rely on in-kind donations from local supporters or members of the diaspora. Shipping containers full of hats, T-shirts, posters and other campaign paraphernalia typically arrive from the U.S. as elections approach. Money also allows
    parties to fly in supporters from overseas. Wickham believes the ruling party flew about 400 people to St. Vincent from the U.S. for the recent election.
    ¶6. (C) Wickham is of the opinion that it was the aforementioned infusion of cash and flying in of voters that allowed the ruling party to win the three races his polling showed they could very well have lost.
    ¶7. (C) Marijuana growers have considerable influence in St. Vincent, where they are not necessarily considered undesirables but can be quite prominent people, according to
    Wickham. He thinks there is some truth to the rumors that that certain individuals tied to the drug trade provided funding to Gonsalves’s ULP, at least during the 2001 election
    that brought it to power (ref C). In Wickham’s assessment, Gonsalves has to appear to be doing just enough to tackle marijuana production to satisfy the USG and CARICOM member states. “Vincentian ganja is a big thing” in the Caribbean, said Wickham, who believes that it is difficult for the Government of St. Vincent to crack down on one of the
    country’s few lucrative industries.

    I will submit the whole WIKILEAKS thing if I-Witness will be daring enough to print it.

    Peter Binose
    Self Appointed Keeper of the Whistle

  5. Does anyone know whether CADRES is a legitimate polling company? All I can find is a brief Facebook reference to CADRES (but no actual company web site) and nothing about the academic background or experience of Peter Wickham. Studies like this should be more carefully looked before their results are printed on this site.

  6. The ULP is the only party in SVG’s general elections that got less votes in their second term, and don’t talk about the questionable third. Please ULP, things in your favour, things nice, call elections quick quick quick.

  7. Nowhere does it say what was the size of the survey group, 10, 100, or 1,000 persons.
    What credible poll or survey does not release the sample size of both the latest and previous undertaking ?
    So last time could have surveyed 500 people, but this time only 50, and publish the results as if its supposedly representative of reality……..job well done.

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