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Public shun politicians for Valentine’s date

Anybody who has listened to Parliamentarians on a Friday night can vouch for their smooth talking into the moonlight hours — but when it comes to winning the hearts of the voting public they have some way to go.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we asked 400 registered voters which of the island’s politicians they would most like to join for a romantic dinner.

Unfortunately for the Romeos and Juliets of the House on the Hill, the top answer was: “I would not go.”

It wasn’t all bad news though, with 17 different politicians getting at least one mention and Michael Dunkley apparently in need of a stick to beat off all the attention from elderly ladies.

The Premier topped the chart with 18 per cent of voters, picking him as their Valentine, followed by Progressive Labour Party MP Kim Wilson with 11 per cent and Opposition leader David Burt on 9 per cent.

A breakdown of the results shows Mr Dunkley is most popular with people aged 65 and over, claiming 25 per cent of the vote.

And it’s not just the women with a soft spot for the One Bermuda Alliance leader: he was picked by 18 per cent of females and 17 per cent of men.

Meanwhile, it appears that the older men get, the more they like Ms Wilson.

While 6 per cent of the 18 to 34 age bracket chose the shadow health minister, that figure steadily rises across the age groups before reaching a heady 15 per cent among the over 65s.

For Mr Burt, it was largely the other way around, as he was chosen by 12 per cent of the 18 to 34 group and down to 6 per cent among those between 45 and 64.

The rest of the top ten was made up of OBA MP Suzann Roberts-Holshouser (6 per cent), finance minister Bob Richards (6 per cent), works minister Craig Cannonier (4 per cent), home affairs minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin (4 per cent), shadow education minister Lovitta Foggo (4 per cent), shadow home affairs Walton Brown (4 per cent) and Senator Jeff Baron (4 per cent).

Other politicians to get a mention were Susan Jackson, Glen Smith, Nandi Outerbridge, Leah Scott and Senator Michael Fahy of the OBA, and Walter Roban and Paula Cox of the PLP.

The telephone poll by Global Research, commissioned by The Royal Gazette, took place between Tuesday and Thursday last week and has a margin of error of +/- 5 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence level.

We also asked people whether they would participate in Valentine’s Day celebrations, with 32 per cent of people saying yes and 68 per cent no. The younger generation was more likely to have Valentine’s plans, with 42 per cent of the 18 to 34 age group saying they would celebrate, compared to 24 per cent of the over 65s.

Pollsters asked what people would spend money on this year, and the top answer was dinner (57 per cent), followed by cards (39 per cent), flowers (31 per cent), gifts (28 per cent), chocolates (26 per cent) and travel (7 per cent).

The average amount people were expected to spend was $93, breaking down to $109 by men and $78 by women. People generally expected their partners to spend less on them, with an average of $69.