BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – AS the time rapidly approaches for the next election in St. Kitts and Nevis, both the Dr. Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government and the Dr. Denzil Douglas-led St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) are confident of victory.
This is according to polls conducted by two Jamaican pollsters, Bill Johnson of Johnson Survey Research Limited Inc. and Don Anderson, Executive Chairman of Market Research Services Limited.
According to an August 7, 2019 press release that indicated it originated from Kingston, Jamaica, Johnson had conducted the poll for the SKNLP, which showed that the opposition party would “win a majority of the seats in the National Assembly and that Leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L Douglas would do a better job running the government”.
However, a release from the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister stated that the poll conducted by Anderson “found that the Team Unity Government, led by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris is very well regarded ‘and is strongly poised to be returned to office come the next election’”.
While Johnson’s summary results of the poll did not include St. Christopher Six, currently held by Dr. Douglas, and St. Christopher Seven held by Dr. Harris, Anderson’s poll, which concluded on Friday (Aug. 2), was conducted in all the constituencies in the Federation where some 820 interviews were done.
According to Johnson, the polls shows that the SKNLP would win six of the eight seats on St. Kitts if the election were called around June-July 2019.
But Anderson’s poll found that the Team Unity coalition is comfortably ahead in seven of these 11 constituencies, including two of the three in Nevis.
“Based on the trend over the past year of surveys, Team Unity is poised to retain at least these 7 seats when elections are called. In addition to this, one of the 4 seats currently held by Labour plus NRP is now regarded as a marginal one, given current voter sentiment,” Anderson was quoted in a press release issued on the findings of the national survey.
Johnson’s poll showed 48 percent of the people feel that Dr. Douglas would do a better job running the country, whilst 29 percent think Dr. Timothy Harris is up to the job.
Additionally, 48 percent said they wished Dr. Douglas was still the Federation’s Prime Minister as against 35 percent in favour of Dr. Harris.
Also, the poll showed that within the six constituencies in St. Kitts, an average of 38 percent think that the Government is doing a good job.
Further, 49 percent of the respondents have an unfavourable unfavorable opinion of Dr. Harris as against 36 percent in favor of him; while 63 percent gave Dr. Douglas a favorable rating as against 27 percent not in favour.
On the question of performance, 38 percent rated PM Harris as doing a good job compared to 71 percent who said that Dr. Douglas’ performance during his tenure in office was superior.
The release quoted Johnson as saying: “For the past 5 election cycles in St. Kitts and Nevis including the previous one, our polling results accurately reflected the decision of voters. I stand confidently behind the results of this poll.”
On the other hand, Anderson’s poll reportedly indicated that a significant number of persons in St. Kitts and Nevis are very happy with the way the country has progressed since the advent of the Team Unity administration.
It also stated that 90 percent of all persons interviewed feel that the situation in St. Kitts and Nevis is now either better than it was three years ago or about the same.
It added, “Very few persons then (10%) feel that things in St. Kitts and Nevis are worse now than 3 years ago.”
Additionally, Anderson’s poll indicated that 74 percent of persons interviewed stated that their own personal situation is now appreciably better or the same as it was three years ago when the Team Unity Government took office.
According to the release from the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister, “Similarly, two independent polls conducted in 2018 showed that Team Unity was the preferred option among the majority of the electorate in St. Kitts and Nevis and also found that Prime Minister Harris is the preferred leader for the country.”