By Caribbean News Global contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Projecting victory for the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) in the general elections expected early this year, regional pollster Bill Johnson of Johnson’s Survey Research Limited Inc, who, incidentally, accurately predicted the defeat of SKNLP in 2015, said: “Overall, I am projecting that labour is ahead in seven seats. They are having real challenges in two seats, and two seats are up for grabs.”
Johnson survey has also found that a majority of the constituencies in St Kitts is of the view that opposition leader Dr Denzil Douglas would make a better prime minister than the incumbent Team Unity leader, Dr Timothy Harris.
“In six of them Dr Douglas has a decided lead over who they want as prime minister and who would make the best prime minister,” said Johnson, who added that his survey polled 300 persons in each of the eight constituencies on St Kitts.
On the issue of popularity, Johnson said in the eight constituencies in St Kitts, “Dr Douglas is significantly ahead of Dr Harris in six of the constituencies in St Kitts, while Team Unity leader, Dr Timothy Harris, is better perceived in his constituency of number 7.
Johnson said the opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) “continues to be significantly in the lead,” also pointed to the “high level of corruption” in the government during an interview with Freedom FM’s Juni Liburd, Wednesday afternoon.
“Because of the paying the criminals’ programme, crime is no longer a hot button issue that it was in previous polls. What’s coming up is this whole issue of paying criminals. The people were concerned about crime, now more and more they are concerned about trying to bribe the criminals and paying for peace,” said Johnson.
“Other issues of concern are jobs. The issue quite candidly is the perception of how the prime minister is just in it for himself and his family. Twenty percent of the people regardless of the constituency that we polled in, indicated that they had concerns about how the prime minister just seems to be wanting to line his pockets and the pockets of his family,” Johnson disclosed. The response came in an open-ended question.
He explained: “We did not ask people, ‘do you think the prime minister … we ask what are some of the things that you like about the prime minister and some of the things that you dislike about the prime minister.’ And the fact that off the top of their heads was; how he mainly cares about himself and his family. A lot of people in general.”
The US-born pollster resides in Jamaica and has been conducting polls in the Caribbean and the United States for 23 years said he “never had an issue relating to corruption, that was that high. I have never seen anything approach the intensity that the issue (of corruption) has.”