Dominica ruling party predicted to win next general elections
A Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) poll has predicted yet another term for the Dominica Labour Party government.
On Wednesday, CADRES released the results of a survey in which residents of the various constituencies in Dominica were questioned between the 17th and 20th of October 2014.
The methodology employed to conduct this poll was similar to that used by CADRES in all previous polling exercises in Dominica. In this instance the estimated margin of error is +/- 5%.
Peter Wickham, the director of CADRES, stated that there will likely be no change of government in the next general elections.
“The most significant political observation the survey generates is the projected political swing of -2% away from the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) or +4% towards the United Workers Party (UWP). The variation between the two projections is a result of the fact that the CADRES projection tool relies on the electoral history of both political parties and on this occasion the Dominica Freedom Party’s (DFP’s) historic support remains unallocated. Notwithstanding, the direction of the swing is consistent in both instances and consistent with what would be a normal trend in the case of a fourth-term government in the Caribbean,” Wickham said.
CADRES normally evaluates the impact of the swing against the governing party, which in this instance is the DLP and within the range of likely variations has determined that any movement in this election would take place in Roseau North, Wesley, La Plaine, Morne Jaune and Roseau Central.
“We do not anticipate any additional seats outside of this group changing hands nor do we expect that there would be a change of government in the next election,” Wickham stated.
He further stated that, in the survey, “43% of respondents indicated a preference for the Dominica Labour Party, while 30% promised to support the UWP. 13% of respondents were unsure which party they would support in the next election, while 14% refused to tell CADRES interviewers their preferred candidate or party”.
Although the Dominica Freedom Party is not fielding any candidates, 0.4% of respondents identified themselves as Freedom Party supporters.
Wickham further indicated that issues of concern to many Dominicans and their families said that employment was their number one concern. The second most important issue of concern was the cost of living for 22% of Dominicans, with 16% being most concerned about the economy.
Apart from these no other major issues were of concern to less than 10% of respondents and it is noteworthy that corruption was only a concern for 2% of persons interviewed.
The second director of CADRES made mention of one popular gauge that was used in the surveys and as such Dominicans were asked “if they believed that the country was on the right track” or heading in the “right direction”.
“42% of the people said they believed the country was on the “right track” while 38% believed that it was heading in the “wrong direction”, he noted.
Eight percent more Dominicans believe that the country is heading in the “wrong direction” than there are persons promising to support the UWP in the next election.
Wickham stated that on the issue of leadership, respondents were asked to rate the performance of both leaders on a scale ranging from “1” to “10” with “1” being the lowest or worst performance and “10” being the highest or best performance.
On average Dominicans gave PM Skerrit a score of 6.4, while opposition leader Linton received an average 4.7.
“CADRES admits that a direct comparison of this nature does put the opposition leader at a slight disadvantage since the expectations of the two roles are very different,” Wickham said.
Wickham further stated, “63% of Dominicans expressed a preference for Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, while 37% would like leader of the opposition, Lennox Linton to lead them while “uncertain voters” were disaggregated and 69% of these persons preferred PM Skerrit, with 31% opting for Mr. Linton”.
The poll surveyed 48 residents in each of the 21 constituencies on the island.