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Poll: OBA would cling to power in snap general election

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The One Bermuda Alliance would win a snap general election but only just, according to the results of a new survey commissioned by The Royal Gazette.

Forty per cent of people polled by Global Research last month said they would vote for the ruling party if an election was called tomorrow, with 33 per cent plumping for the Progressive Labour Party and 23 per cent undecided. The survey has a margin of error of five per cent, meaning the two political parties are not far apart in popularity, two years into the OBA's time in power.

In July, when the same question was put by pollsters, 36 per cent backed the OBA and 35 per cent the Opposition. A year ago, the results were 36 per cent for the PLP and 35 per cent for the OBA.

Twenty eight per cent of those who took part in our latest poll approved of the OBA's performance in Government, while 22 per cent approved of the PLP's performance in Opposition.

The biggest issue facing Bermuda, according to voters, remained the economy and unemployment. It was the main concern for 57 per cent of respondents, while 15 per cent cited crime and seven per cent said education.

Responding to the poll Premier Michael Dunkley told The Royal Gazette: “The Bermudian people and the Government share the view that the economy remains Bermuda's biggest challenge — getting people back to work and helping families.

“The groundwork that's been laid down by the Government over the past two years is starting to bear fruit.

“We see that in hotel developments taking shape, the America's Cup, airport plans, upswings in retail, real estate and international business.

“All of these developments bode well for the job creation, new business and career opportunities that Bermudians want.

“Much work remains to be done to complete the turnaround, but Bermuda is clearly moving in the right direction, and today's poll indicates cautious public optimism on that central point.”

Mr Dunkley's favourability rating appears to have dropped since the summer. Back then, just two months into the job, his personal performance as leader of the country was viewed favourably by 56 per cent of participants.

That figure was down to 48 per cent in the latest telephone survey, which was carried out between November 23 and 30, before it was announced that Bermuda had won its bid to host the next America's Cup.

However, the survey conducted in July asked participants only if they had a favourable or unfavourable impression of the Premier, whereas last month's poll allowed them to rate their impression on a scale of one to five, where five is very favourable.

The most recent poll found that 40 per cent of participants approved of the Premier's performance. Whites were more likely to approve (64 per cent of those polled) than blacks (28 per cent).

Opposition leader Marc Bean's favourability rating also appears to have fallen. In July, asked if they had a favourable or unfavourable impression of him, 51 per cent of participants responded favourably.

In November, 30 per cent of those polled gave him a favourable rating of four or five and 28 per cent approved of his performance. The survey was conducted just a few weeks after the PLP leader was accused of verbally attacking a female OBA member, prompting a police complaint.

Thirty eight per cent of blacks who were polled approved of Mr Bean's performance, compared to nine per cent of whites.

Deputy Premier Bob Richards got a favourable rating from 40 per cent of those polled last month and 34 per cent approved of his performance.

PLP Deputy David Burt got a favourable rating from 33 per cent, while 30 per cent approved of his performance.

In the latest poll of 400 registered voters, 80 per cent said they would be absolutely certain or very likely to vote in a parliamentary election, with 20 per cent saying they possibly would.

Thirty nine per cent said they voted OBA in the last general election in December 2012, compared to 34 per cent who said they voted PLP.

In real terms, the OBA won 51.7 per cent of the total votes in the last election, compared to the PLP's 46.1 per cent.

Global Research says its poll was weighted to be representative of the Island's population in terms of age, race and gender.

The margin of error was +/- five per cent at the 95 per cent confidence level, meaning if the poll was run 100 times — asking a different sample of people each time — the overall percentage of people who responded the same way would remain within five per cent of the original result in at least 95 of those 100 polls.

Responding to the survey, an Opposition spokesman said: “The PLP recognises that any poll represents only a moment in time. Therefore, we will continue our job of advocating for the people of Bermuda and holding the Government accountable to the people of Bermuda.”

Michael Dunkley
Marc Bean

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Published December 18, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated December 18, 2014 at 9:47 am)

Poll: OBA would cling to power in snap general election

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