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Only time will tell

The political polls published in

The Royal Gazette yesterday make fascinating reading if you are a politician and if you are mulling over when to call a general election.

According to the Mindmaps poll, the One Bermuda Alliance now has a seven-point lead over the Progressive Labour Party.

Is it an unassailable lead? Well, the answer as ever is that time will tell.

However it seems that Premier Paula Cox is banking on an upturn in the economy later this year to give her and her party a lift in the polls in time for an election that must be called before next February. If correct, that is a dangerous strategy and relies on the voter and in particular the swing voter having a very short memory.

While the OBA rides high, its leader Craig Cannonier is not so lucky. His personal popularity rating is actually lower than the Premier’s and 11 points adrift of his deputy, Michael Dunkley. Mr Cannonier’s media handlers must also be vexed by this but he does need to up his game to improve his public profile.

Increasingly in politics, it is the personality of a leader that can sway a voter and you have to wonder where the OBA would be in the polls if Mr Cannonier’s public profile was significantly enhanced. It must also be a cause of confusion to the voter, when the party’s number two has a greater popularity rating.

So the question after all that is: When will the general election be called? Does the Premier risk a further widening of the gap between the two parties or hope that the economy will improve enough so the PLP can take credit and hope for a lift in popularity.

While this newspaper is not in the business of predicting or promoting, it seems likely that we may get an election at the last possible minute. If Mr Cannonier can improve his own ratings, it seems at this particular moment that it is the OBA’s to lose … although as they say, a week is a long time in politics.

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Published March 23, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 23, 2012 at 9:50 am)

Only time will tell

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