Poll: Majority of voters not confident about Islands economy
Almost two-thirds of registered voters are not confident in the direction of Bermudas economy, according to our latest poll conducted between March 6 and March 15.
That figure is unchanged since the same question was asked in the survey a year ago.
Sixty-four percent of those polled said they were not confident with the economys direction, while 52 percent disapprove of the Governments latest Budget.
The economy and unemployment is considered by 53 percent of registered voters to be the biggest issue facing Bermuda, while 30 percent say the biggest issue is crime. Education was ranked the top issue by just five percent of voters.
A year ago, crime was considered the number one issue by the most voters (50 percent) followed by the economy/unemployment (36 percent) and education (four percent).
Research firm MindMaps surveyed 400 residents aged 18 and older for The Royal Gazette. Qualified respondents were registered voters who said they were likely to vote.
Just eight percent of those polled declared themselves confident in the direction of the economy, slightly up from last year when the percentage was five percent.
The Opposition One Bermuda Alliance is considered the party best able to bring about economic recovery in Bermuda by 41 percent of voters, as compared to 18 percent of voters who favour the ruling Progressive Labour Party, two percent who favour the UBP and 16 percent who answered none of the above to the question.
Almost a quarter of those asked said they did not know or refused to say which party they felt was best able to bring about economic recovery.
Those results also revealed that white voters (80 percent) were far more likely to favour the OBAs ability to turn the economy around. But 30 percent of blacks felt the same way about the PLP, while 32 percent said they did not know or refused to answer.
Opinions about the Budget also broke down along racial lines, with whites much more likely (70 percent) to say they disapprove, compared to 52 percent of blacks.
Peter Everson, co-chair of the economic division of the Chamber of Commerce, said the results did not come as a surprise to the organisations members.
Whilst crime and education are important, severe lack of funds places immediate strains on the family and each individual, Mr Everson said.
As the recession has continued, more and more sectors of the economy have been dragged down and therefore increasing numbers of employees have seen the impact first hand.
I would therefore expect these polls to show increasing concerns with the economy and employment until after the economy has stopped shrinking.
We do not know when this will be. In her Budget announcement, Premier Cox indicated that perhaps the economy would turn around in 2013.
These poll results mirror those in the US where politicians become concerned about their re-election prospects whenever they face the voters in the midst of an economic downturn.
Both Craig Cannonier, the Opposition OBA Leader, and Premier Paula Cox declined to comment.
Kim Swan, the interim leader of the United Bermuda Party, was also asked for his comments but he had not responded by press time last night.