Sen. Julian Francis speaks at the re-opening of the office building in Chauncey on Friday. (IWN Photo)

An I-Witness News article last week triggered a streak of generosity in Sen. Julian Francis, general secretary of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP), causing him to share with the nation insight into what he said were the results of a poll that he had initially said was for the party’s “internal consumption”.

After Francis’ “internal consumption” comment, the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), said there is “every indication” that  the   ULP “own poll  shows that  it is losing the general   elections”, hence its refusal to release the results of its most recent polls.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), which conducted the poll for the ULP, said last week that the upcoming general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is going to be a tight race, and none of the two main political parties can be confident of victory.

“I guess you can say this is an open secret. There are series of polls we have done in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Unfortunately, the client there is not comfortable with us releasing the findings of the polls,” Wickham told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) in an interview.

“…there are good reasons why both sides could win. The political reality is that the polls are definitely showing a tight race … I am more comfortable with the expression that it will be a tight election in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and it will be one that we, across the region, will closely watch,” the pollster said .

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When contacted on Thursday for comment on the poll, Francis confirmed to I-Witness News that the ULP had commissioned the poll, but added that the results are for “internal consumption”.

However, one day later, he cited the poll as predicting a 14-1 victory for the ULP, which holds a one-seat majority in the 15-member Parliament as it seeks a fourth consecutive term in office.

Speaking Friday in Chauncey at the re-opening of the ULP’s South Leeward campaign office, which was damaged by fire one week earlier, Francis said Labour will only lose the election if supporters stay home on election day.

“If every single supporter of Labour were to go out and vote, we winning 2001 result … And I am saying 2001 results was 12 for us, three for them and about 10,000 more votes than them.”

The ULP won the 56.6 per cent of the 51,328 accepted voters in 2001, compared to the main opposition New Democratic Party’s 45.3 per cent.

Francis said his party has done its “checking scientifically” of what is happening in the country.

“The NDP is so worried right now that every single night they have a village meeting,” he told the gathering.

“The results show that the Unity Labour Party today is stronger today than it was in the election of 2010. Not only that … that the two Kingstown seats are open to any political party,” he said, even as he noted that the NDP’s Daniel Cummings won West Kingstown in 2010 by over 500 votes and the NDP’s St. Clair Leacock won Central Kingstown by 382 votes.

“The Unity Labour Party, according to the polls, stands a fighting chance to win back them two seats dey,” Francis said.

A section of the crowd at the opening of the ULP's campaign office at Chauncey on Friday. (IWN photo)
A section of the crowd at the opening of the ULP’s campaign office at Chauncey on Friday. (IWN photo)

He further cited the polls as showing that the ULP will retain the eight seats it holds in Parliament.

“Eight seats is government. That means NDP can’t form government,” he said, adding that the ULP is working to win North and South Leeward.

“That’s 10. The polls … tell us that Kingstown is open and the Unity Labour Party stands a fighting chance in winning two of the Kingstown seats … The minimum I am expecting in this election is the 2005 results — 12 for Labour, three for NDP,” Francis said.

The ULP retained government in 2005 with the same 12-3 majority, but 1.1 percentage points fewer votes.

“But the way it looking, it looking better than that still, but I ain’t going beyond that. Because Edwin Snagg … say he got one for we. And I always joke with him. I say, ‘Comrade, it’s time for you to bring the pork home.’ And he has assured me …, he say, ‘General Secretary, I giving you Southern Grenadines this time. How much that reaches? All yo’ stop count? Thirteen-two,” Francis said.

He further told party supporters that the polls say that in every constituency in St. Vincent, Gonsalves is more popular than NDP president, Opposition Leader Eustace, including East Kingstown.

“So even in Arnhim’s constituency, Ralph Gonsalves has a better rating in East Kingstown than Arnhim Eustace as the man people want to be prime minister of this country,” Francis said.

“Where we reach dey? Alyo still adding? Fourteen! Me ain’t going as far as 15. What I want to tell you all tonight is that Labour will win this election, and we will have four inna row,” he said, but warned party supporters against complacency.

“I don’t want us to sit down and say arwe done win government and yo’ nah gwine do nothing. All of you in South Leeward, please, get out of your house and wuk with Jomo. And, in every single constituency, the election is not won until the election is won.”

But NDP spokesperson, Sen. Vynnette Frederick, said in a press statement and on the campaign trail on the weekend that the ULP’s own findings show “that the people are fed up with 14 years of the Ralph Gonsalves administration, and they are ready to opt for the policy platform of the NDP”.

“It is significant that Wickham could not say that the ULP could win the election, even though he has conducted the polling for them and has the findings,” Frederick, who is also a Senator, noted. “We know if the findings had shown that the ULP was winning, they were going to be quick to release it,” Frederick said in a press statement.

Speaking at an NDP campaign rally in Murray’s Village on Saturday, Frederick said: “Today, when you listen to the ground, and you listen to the people and you listen to Peter Wickham in the papers, you could imagine we in an 8-7 situation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the last five years …, the Prime Minister thump up his chest earlier this year… and say they sweeping all the seats but the reality is not that things tight, which is the best that Wickham coulda say.

“Wickham say the safest thing to say, when yo’ ain’t have nothing good to say is to make it look like things close.”

Frederick further said the fact that Wickham said the client does not want the result of the poll released is important.

“Even Julian say hear nuh, the poll results are for internal consumption. So the licks that they forecast — their own forecasts tell them that they getting blows yo’ know. Their own forecast telling them that the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are ready to vote and ready to vote to change this government and to give the New Democratic Party the mandate to govern and to rescue St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” she said.

I-Witness News was reliably informed that there are efforts afoot to secure media interviews regarding the polls, in what has been described as an attempt at “damage control”.

8 replies on “Francis shares results of poll intended for ULP’s ‘internal consumption’ ”

  1. Obviously the ULP did not like the poll results. Francis contradicts himself by admitting that the poll indicates it will be close and then saying the poll said the ULP will win all but one seat???
    “internal consumption” my astrolobe!
    Nevertheless the NDP should not be so arrogant. We Vincentians are a very arrogant people, as all can see at vote time. The last two elections the NDP has been CERTAIN of victory. Obviously there has been cheating during some elections. The entire country remembers one constituency on the Leeward where the NDP were far ahead and when the last voting place came in very late at night the ULP surged and won…oh, yeh we believe that!
    All over the world the people are tired of all the corrupt greedy leaders and are throwing them out, just like Canada last week. Eustace may not be a friendly guy, but Ralph is a deceptive corrupt liar. I am not voting for someone to be my friend, I am voting for someone who is honest and can lead the country out of poverty so I can take care of myself. I want to buy my own lumber and refrigerator. I wish Eustace would unite the people starting with Ivan O’Neil. Will I vote for Ivan or Arnheim???

  2. The only way the ULP can win is through election fraud. Giving away government owned building supplies, having supporters register in constituencies where they do not live and packing the voting, fraud with the ballot boxes and vote spoiling whilst being counted.

  3. Francis claims the ULP will win 14 seats yet he has never been able to win a single seat for himself.

  4. Didn’t the PM tell everyone several months ago to get on their marks? If the result is going to be such a ridiculous blowout why we still on we marks? That bell should have rang long time ago

  5. TOTAL BS BY FRANCIS AND CADRES. THERE IS NOTHING TIGHT ABOUT THIS UPCOMING ELECTIONS…ITS GOING TO BE A BLOWOUT FOR THE NDP.

    Here is the breakdown:

    Kingstown lock for the NDP-3

    Grenadines lock for the NDP-2

    Central Leeward is a toss up. I think Mr Exeter faces the same problem as Ferdinand and Camillo, they are relatively unknown entities in the political arena. And while Mr Slater selection is a clear act of desperation, he is a known quantity and a willy political operator. My first impression upon hearing Mr Exeter on the radio, was he sound too foreign…not sure if he can escape this obvious local prejudicial knock against him but that may just be me and the voters in CL maybe far more sophisticated than I am giving them credit for.-ULP-1

    North and South Leeward-Jomo and Carlos done and dusted-Again UNKNOWN ENTITIES IN THE POLITICAL ARENA-I know Jomo has been around for a while but his bandwagon mentality can’t be trusted. Jomo simply has no credibility and should have just stick to his “neutral” corner.-NDP-2

    East St George-When Camillo was a young man,the political gods spoke to Ralph and commanded him to take his son to East St George and offer him as a sacrifice to the Gods. This was the Gods test of Ralph’s faith. Ralph loved his son very much but did not hesitate to follow the Gods words, for he was a man whose faith in political expediency was unbreakable.-NDP-1

    West St George-I genuinely like Mr Ferdinand’s candidacy;I wish he could have entered the political arena 10 years ago. However, I am not entirely convince he can beat Mckie mainly because of his relatively unknown factor, but I hope I can be pleasantly surprise come election night-ULP-1

    Marriaqua-Lets just say Jimmy is “walking dead”-NDP-1

    South Windward-outside of Gonsalves, Mr Stephenson had the biggest % win for any winning ULP candidate in the last election, with 60%…I suspect he will retain his seat albeit with a lower % .-ULP-1

    South Central Windward-Saboto got this.-ULP-1

    North Central Windward-LOL-ULP-1

    North Windward-Ok on this one, I am going to abandon my thesis of UNKNOWN ENTITIES. Somebody will have to catch Lauren Baptiste fornicating with their sheep, on video, and post it on Facebook and Youtube for him to loose against Montgomerry. I think Montgomerry has been such a monumental f*** up, that no water is going to wash him off. He is another “walking dead”…he has been talking crap for so long I will be utterly amazed if he gets reelected. NDP-1

    So by my count, the NDP WILL WIN THIS ELECTION 10-5. With a possibility of 12-3

    Disclaimer:The views expressed here are those of an inebriated yet soberly calculated soul. These views are in no way a reflection of my political leanings rather a reminder to those dotish voters who are still clinging to the ULP bandwagon which is speeding towards a cliff.

    Oh, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE! VIVA LA HAIROUNA!!!!

    1. Your analysis fails to take into account that thousands of votes can be bought in our hungry and cynical land by the highest bidder and smarter, better organized, and more tightly united Party, in this case the ULP.

      The race is closer than you think.

  6. Dr. Dexter Lewis says:

    If the ULP is letting it out of the bag that they think they have a chance you can be sure they are under water.

    Over the previous 2 elections the predictions of Ryan that they had all of the Kingstown seats all sewn up and none of it proving true after the elections tells us clearer than anything else how they plan to mislead the public.
    It is constant. They never stop trying to fool.

  7. This ULP is the only party in SVG that got less votes in the second term, the 3rd term they got less votes and less seats. Somebody please show them the light.

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