Survey: PLP would win snap election
* Bean tops leadership poll
* Cannonier rated marginally above Burgess
* Dunkley is most popular politician
By Raymond Hainey
Opposition Leader Marc Bean is more popular among voters than Premier Craig Cannonier, a new survey has revealed.
And the PLP would narrowly outstrip the ruling OBA if a snap General Election was to be called — 35 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for the Opposition compared to 33 percent for the Government.
Mr Cannonier attracted a 43 percent approval rating as Premier while his counterpart on the Opposition benches notched up 58 percent approval as leader of the PLP.
And almost half of those surveyed — 48 percent — disapproved of Mr Cannonier’s performance as Premier, while 35 percent felt the same about Mr Bean’s handling of his role as Opposition leader.
The survey was largely carried out before a row in the House of Assembly over PLP accusations of bribes being offered to Mr Cannonier in connection with a gaming licence and clashes over a taped conversation between OBA MP Nandi Outerbridge and Mr Bean erupted in the House of Assembly.
Mr Bean was also more popular among women voters than Mr Cannonier. The Premier had a 46 percent approval rating among men compared to 40 percent among women.
Mr Bean performance as Opposition leader had a 57 percent approval rate among women compared to a 50 percent approval rating among men.
Mr Cannonier’s deputy, National Security Minister Michael Dunkley got a higher approval rating than either, with 58 percent backing his performance as number two in the OBA hierarchy.
In contrast, PLP deputy leader Derrick Burgess got the backing of 39 percent in the survey based on his performance as second-in-command of his party.
The survey showed that nearly a third of voters were sitting on the fence as 32 percent were not prepared to back either of the two main parties in a General Election.
A total of 11.7 percent were undecided, while 10.4 percent said neither of the current parties would get their vote and five percent said they would not vote at all.
A total of 2.2 percent refused to say who they would vote for, while 1.7 percent said a different party.
Only 0.7 percent, however, were prepared to vote Independent, while a tiny 0.2 percent opted for “whichever party I feel has the best interests of the country.”
The survey also showed a sharp divide between the blacks and whites, with 49 percent of black people saying they would back the PLP in a snap election, compared to just three percent of white people.
That compares to a total of 61 percent of white people who said they would vote OBA, compared to 20 percent of black people.
But the “don’t knows” and other non-committed categories were more evenly split — with 36 percent of them being white people and 31 percent of them black people.
Mr Cannonier also attracted more support from white people. A total of 65 percent of white people backed him, while 33 percent of black people registered their support.
Mr Bean’s performance as leader of the Opposition attracted 65 percent of black people, while 25 percent of white voters backed his on-the-job performance.
OBA deputy Premier Mr Dunkley’s 58 percent approval rating broke down to 79 percent of white voters and 48 percent of black voters.
Mr Burgess’ performance as PLP deputy leader recorded a stronger approval rating (49 percent) among black people and a weaker showing (18 percent) among white people.
* The survey was carried out by Global Research and Strategy Group, owned by Dr Leslie Steede and Nosheen Syed, with offices in Hamilton and Vancouver, Canada.
The firm interviewed a total of 408 Bermudian voters by phone between February 8-15. The survey results were weighted to be representative of the Bermuda population in terms of gender, age and education and the margin of error is plus or minus five percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
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