Dissatisfied with economy - but people like Cox
Premier Paula Cox enjoys a soaring popularity as she beds in as leader of the Country, according to a new poll by Research Innovations.
Ms Cox has a favourability rating of 84 percent meaning more than eight out of ten people liked the Premier in the survey earlier this month.
The rating is higher than the perennially popular Ms Cox achieved throughout her spell as Deputy Premier, although most other recent surveys have been carried out by a different polling company.
In a poll by Mindmaps shortly before she was elected Progressive Labour Party leader last October, Ms Cox scored a favourability of 54 percent.
The Progressive Labour Party also holds a resounding lead over the United Bermuda Party, with the Bermuda Democratic Alliance even further behind.
Forty-seven percent of people said they would vote PLP in a general election, compared with 13 percent for the UBP and four percent for the BDA. Thirty-six percent gave alternative answers ranging from “other” and “none” to “Independent”.
Ms Cox's approval rating the proportion of people who think she's doing a good job is at 58 percent, with just eight percent disapproving and 34 percent not sure.
Some within the PLP predict Ms Cox will cash in on her increased popularity during her honeymoon period by calling an election in the first half of 2011 Ms Cox has refused to comment on that speculation.
The PLP said in a press release yesterday: “We are grateful for and heartened by the confidence of the people in our leader.
“We remain ever vigilant of the challenges facing our Country and are working to ensure we navigate through them successfully. There is much work ahead and we plan to keep our shoulders to the wheel.”
The UBP said some of Ms Cox's popularity comes from replacing Ewart Brown, who struggled badly at the polls in the second half of his term.
“The poll results reflect the bounce one would expect for a new political leader,” said a spokesman.
“In this case, the Premier's numbers can be attributed to the honeymoon period any new leader can expect plus the widespread relief felt by the fact that she replaced an unpopular leader.”
Both Opposition leaders also scored more highly in the Research Innovations poll than in previous Mindmaps polls. Kim Swan of the UBP has a favourability of 44 percent, and the BDA's Craig Cannonier has 25 percent.
However, the public was less impressed by the state of the economy and Bermuda as a whole.
Sixty-eight percent said they were dissatisfied with the way things are going in Bermuda at this time, with just 24 percent satisfied.
And just eight percent described Bermuda's economic conditions as good, with 51 percent calling it fair and 41 percent poor.
Just 23 percent believe the economy is moving in the right direction, with 64 percent saying it's going in the wrong direction and the rest unsure.
The UBP spokesman continued: “The most important thing this poll reveals is widespread dissatisfaction with the direction Bermuda is heading. People are not happy, and they have good reasons to be.
“Bermuda is at a crossroads and people have been given no reason to believe the Government will make the right choices, let alone follow through on them; especially since we arrived at this point on their watch.
“We have talked about the need to show positive results in education reform, economic planning, public safety and Government reform based on principles of fairness, transparency and accountability.
“The Government's failure to deliver in these key areas, its failure to project confidence and a sense of direction has made people very anxious. This is reflected in their answers to questions about ‘the way things are going in Bermuda at this time.'”
Mr Cannonier said: “This poll is surprising in that the PLP favourability is so high given the low ratings on the economy.
“The figures suggest that the voter has yet to make the connection that the unprecedented decline in Bermuda's economy was not just due to the results of a global recession but of poor decision making by our Government.
“It boggles the mind that so much faith is being placed in the current administration despite the Premier's silence as to the Country's poor performance. Poll results such as these simply show me that we have a lot of work to do.”
The poll of 403 people took place between January 12 and 19.
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