Poll shows a rise in undecided voters

  • OBA leader Craig Cannonier

    OBA leader Craig Cannonier

Cannonier overtakes Cox in new poll

Opposition leader Craig Cannonier has moved in front of Premier Paula Cox, but his deputy Senator Michael Dunkley is still ahead in the popularity stakes.
Mr Cannonier has a favourability rating of 35 percent, up from 31 percent in the previous Mindmaps poll two months ago.
Ms Cox has climbed from 32 percent to 33 percent in that time, while her performance approval rating as Premier has increased from 23 percent to 26 percent.
Meanwhile One Bermuda Alliance deputy leader Sen Dunkley's rating has fallen four percentage points from 42 percent to 38 percent, but that's still enough to make him the most popular of the five politicians in the survey.
Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess has seen his poll ratings jump from 14 percent to 23 percent, while United Bermuda Party leader Kim Swan has increased from 13 percent to 21 percent.
A breakdown by race shows just 13 percent of whites have a favourable impression of Ms Cox, with 12 percent giving their backing to Mr Burgess. Ms Cox is supported by 45 percent of blacks and Mr Burgess by 29 percent.
Mr Cannonier is backed by 50 percent of whites and Sen Dunkley by 60 percent; Mr Cannonier has the support of 27 percent of blacks and Sen Dunkley 26 percent.
Twenty-three percent of whites have a favourable impression of Mr Swan, as do 19 percent of blacks.
Ms Cox's largest section of support is among seniors, with 47 percent having a favourable impression. However, among the 18 to 34 age group, Ms Cox (22 percent) trails Mr Burgess (23 percent).

The One Bermuda Alliance has retained its seven point lead over the Progressive Labour Party, but increasing numbers of voters are snubbing both parties.

In a new poll by Mindmaps, 36 percent of people said they would vote OBA in a general election, compared with 29 percent for the PLP and just three percent for the United Bermuda Party.

And Opposition leader Craig Cannonier is now ahead of Premier Paula Cox in the favourability ratings for the first time since he took charge of the OBA at its debut conference eight months ago.

But both major parties have recorded a slump in the past two months, with the OBA's share of the vote dropping four points from 40 percent, and the PLP's falling four points from 33 percent. The percentage of voters sitting on the fence has climbed from 25 percent to 32 percent.

Voters gave the thumbs down to both main parties' performances, with the PLP's approval rating stuck on 15 percent, and the OBA's sinking from 21 percent to 17 percent.

Meanwhile a breakdown by race shows that, while the PLP is still the most popular party among blacks and the OBA among whites, the gaps are getting closer in each category.

Forty-two percent of blacks said they would vote PLP, compared with 21 percent for the OBA. Shortly before Christmas, the PLP commanded 52 percent of the black vote to the OBA's 15 percent.

Among whites, the OBA has 67 percent of the votes compared with the PLP's seven percent. Shortly before Christmas the OBA had 88 percent of the white vote, and the PLP seven percent.

The OBA is winning the race for all age groups with the exception of the 45 to 54 bracket. Thirty-seven percent of seniors would vote OBA against 28 percent for the PLP; 39 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds would vote OBA compared with 28 percent for the PLP.

Discontent with the PLP's performance was strongest among the older generation, with 63 percent of 55- to 64-year-olds disapproving, along with 47 percent of seniors.

Overall, the proportion of people saying they would be sure to vote has dropped, from 80 percent two months ago to 73 percent now.

Responding to the figures, PLP sources last night recalled a poll showing the UBP had a similar lead shortly before the last general election, only to lose convincingly on the day.

A spokesman said: “The Progressive Labour Party remains as always, firmly committed to navigating our Country through challenging times by building a better future for Bermudians.

“Focusing on poll results is less important than focusing on the concerns facing Bermudians. The PLP will always be the party that puts Bermudians first as we continue to move Bermuda forward together.”

OBA chairman Thad Hollis said: “The poll shows the people of Bermuda are ready for change.

“The steady fall-off in support for the PLP Government over the past year says this more than anything else. The 15 percent approval rating for its performance shows how deep the disenchantment runs.

“But the large number of undecided voters also shows how difficult it is for people to commit fully to change. The One Bermuda Alliance understands the uncertainty people feel and we will continue to do our utmost from now to election day to assure people that the change we bring will lead them to a safer, more secure future than the one taking shape under this Government.

“There is much work to do, but we are committed to stopping the declines and disappointments and to getting Bermuda moving forward again.”

UBP leader Kim Swan said: “Given what we have witnessed this year with the misrepresentation by the omnibus survey, we are very sceptical about the numerous opinion polls being commissioned, which in total, are costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“These opinion polls are a nuisance to households and are being commissioned by numerous media, political parties and fringe interest groups within our small society.

“For the record, Charlie Swan and Kim Swan will stay focused on the serious issues confronting Bermuda and look forward to being judged very favourably by the good people voting in St George's West and Southampton West Central based on our performance on their behalf, when election poll is announced."

The Omnibus Survey is conducted by the Total Group and not Mindmaps.

UBP MP Charlie Swan said: “At the end of the day, it's the election poll results that matter, and we respect our constituents.”

The poll of 400 residents took place between May 2 and May 12 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

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Published May 21, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated May 21, 2012 at 8:55 am)

Poll shows a rise in undecided voters

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