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OBA ahead of PLP in latest poll

The One Bermuda Alliance is ahead of the Progressive Labour Party in the latest poll after gaining a surge of voters in its first few months of existence.

Thirty-eight percent of people said they would vote OBA in a general election, with 32 percent opting for the PLP in the Mindmaps poll carried out shortly after the fledgling party's debut conference.

In the previous poll three months ago, the PLP had 27 percent of voters compared with the OBA's 25 percent.

But although the PLP has fallen behind the OBA in the election race, public faith in Premier Paula Cox is beginning to climb again, with her favourability rising from 25 percent to 37 percent. Ms Cox's performance approval rating has also improved, from 16 percent to 23 percent.

And increasing numbers of people are pleased with the way the governing party is doing its job: the PLP's performance approval rating has climbed from ten percent to 19 percent.

Public support for the OBA, which elected Senator Craig Cannonier as its leader at the conference on September 10, is greater than anything the United Bermuda Party achieved at any time since the 2007 general election.

According to the survey, the Alliance is attracting much of its support from whites and the older generation.

The OBA takes 72 percent of the white vote and 16 percent of the black vote; the PLP takes five percent of the white vote and 49 percent of the black vote.

The new party is strongest among the 55 to 64 age group, attracting 57 percent of their votes; the only age group currently favouring the PLP is 18- to 34-year-olds.

With just two MPs remaining, the UBP now commands support from just one percent of people. Ironically, the organisation labelled the white party for so long now has zero support from white people.

Thirty percent of people gave non-committal responses when asked which party they would vote for, with some saying they would base their decision on their local candidate, and others waiting to see the OBA's platform. The number of undecided voters has dropped from 46 percent three months ago.

Reacting yesterday, the PLP said in a statement: “The Progressive Labour Party remains as always, firmly committed to the task at hand: navigating our Country through one of the most challenging times we have faced.

“Focusing on poll results is of less importance than focusing on the issues facing the people of Bermuda. We remain focused and will not be distracted.”

OBA chairman Thad Hollis said in a statement: “The One Bermuda Alliance is encouraged by the poll results, which show the party gaining significant support across the Island.

“It indicates more and more Bermudians recognise that Bermuda must change if we are to get this Island working again and that the current government does not make them feel confident about the future.

“We are also highly mindful of the fact that the poll is a snapshot of how people are thinking at a given time. And so we take nothing for granted.

“The poll just tells how hard we must continue to work each and every day to earn the trust and support of the people of Bermuda.

“Accomplish that and we can get this Island working again, where there are plenty of jobs, where streets are safer and where children get the education they need to live fulfilling lives.

“That's our mission. Today's poll says we're getting there but not there yet.”

UBP leader Kim Swan said the polls reflect a continued serious polarisation on race and repeated his call for a system of proportional representation to avoid the trend of predetermined seats.

Mr Swan said: “Racial polarisation has been at the centre of Bermuda politics for the past four decades and looks set to continue.

“It has not been helped by divisive election campaigns, nasty racial epithets, nor the fact that more than two-thirds of Bermuda's electoral constituencies have historically predetermined on racial lines.

“This overall result can be misleading and it is important to know the breakdown of demographics the percentages relate to.

“This poll reinforces the need for electoral reforms in Bermuda and the urgency for us to consider a version of proportional representation to break the gridlock of racial polarisation and the domination by persons holding predetermined seats.”

The telephone poll of 405 registered voters took place between September 13 and September 21 and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

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EDITORIAL see Page 4

One Bermuda Alliance Leader Craig Cannonier and Premier Paula Cox

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Published September 26, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated September 26, 2011 at 10:08 am)

OBA ahead of PLP in latest poll

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