Parties downplay significance of poll

The One Bermuda Alliance has played down the results of a poll commissioned by The Royal Gazette which suggests the ruling party and the Premier are lagging behind the Opposition in popularity.

The survey, published yesterday, showed that Opposition leader Marc Bean had a popularity rating of 48 percent — far higher than that of Premier Craig Cannonier, who won the backing of 38 percent of those polled. A year ago, Mr Cannonier’s rating stood at 48 percent.

And the Progressive Labour Party also held a slim lead over the Government, with 36 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the Opposition, compared to 35 percent who said they would vote for the OBA.

Yesterday, Premier Craig Cannonier said: “While the polls are disappointing, it does not come as a total surprise. These are serious times and will require the OBA government to promote the recovery and renewal of Bermuda; to make it work better for people, providing jobs, careers and safer streets and an environment that gives equal opportunity for everyone to succeed.

“We are on track to move this country in the right direction. We’re making the decisions that the previous administration would not make.”

OBA chairman Thad Hollis said the results reflected the fact that Government had made some “painful” decisions in order to “repair an economy the PLP had all but ruined”.

“Only a year ago, we had spiralling debt and we knew that the PLP Government had no plan. We won an election. Then we got to ‘look under the hood’ — we had no idea just how bad things really were,” said Mr Hollis.

He claimed that, in 2012, the former Progressive Labour Party administration was unable to meet its payroll or debt obligations.

“The PLP was denying that we were in a recession, unemployment was rising and Government revenues were down,” he said.

“We have spent our time in Government making tough decisions to repair an economy the PLP had all but ruined. They left us a Bermuda in which unemployment and business failures were on the rise. They left us a Bermuda from which international business was fleeing. They left us a Bermuda for which the SAGE wake-up call was a painful necessity if we were, and are, to move forward.

“Some of the decisions we had to make have been painful, and there are more to come. We are making the tough decisions. We have to continue build confidence, while we get it all back on track.

“The framework built over the last ten months has built confidence that this Government is open for business.

“We know that when the time comes for the people to make a serious assessment of our efforts, we will see a very different result.”

Despite its positive showing the PLP dismissed the poll as a “popularity contest”.

A party spokesman said: “Polls do not create jobs, and they do not feed people. Bermuda needs continued sound leadership as opposed to a popularity contest, and it is for this reason that the PLP will redouble our efforts to uplift and assist Bermudians, and seek to be welcoming to our visitors.

To that end, we will work with the OBA where possible, and provide alternative solutions when we are not in agreement.”

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Published Dec 3, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 3, 2013 at 8:18 am)

Parties downplay significance of poll

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