The ruling coalition, Team Unity, in St. Kitts-Nevis is more likely to win the next general election according to an opinion poll conducted by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES).
CADRES said that the poll conducted in the twin-island Federation last October, comes ahead of the fifth anniversary of the last general election that was held on February 16, 2015 when Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris led the coalition to victory over the then ruling St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) led by Dr. Denzil Douglas..
It said that while the first sitting of the new government did not occur until May 16th “there is already considerable speculation about the outcome of the 2020 election” and that against this background, conducted a second national survey in October 2019. The first was conducted in July 2018.
CADRES said on this occasion, it interviewed approximately 1,000 people in all 11 Federal constituencies using a methodology that is consistent with that which was used with all previous national surveys in the Federation.
The Barbados-based based pollsters, which enjoy an impressive record in the Caribbean, said that as in 2018 when people were asked which political party in the Federation they believed had the best chance of winning a majority of seats, “Team Unity continued to be the coalition that most persons believed would emerge victorious.
“On this occasion some 48 per cent of Kittitians and Nevisians believed Team Unity would win, while 26 per cent thought the Labour/NRP (Nevis Reformation Party) Coalition would win and 24 per cent were unsure. In this regard it is significant that while 86 per cent of Team Unity supporters believed that Team Unity would win, 70 per cent of Labour/NRP supporters thought that Labour/NRP would win and the uncommitted votes were more inclined to envisage a Team Unity victory,” CADRES added.
It said the actual expression of voter preference on this occasion was 43 per cent, Team Unity; 32 per cent Labour NRP and 24 per cent, uncommitted, with one per cent opting for another party/independent candidate.
“This would of course present a scenario where the uncommitted vote was large enough to alter the course of the election; however, CADRES has consistently applied this vote along historic lines with considerable success regionally in terms of its projections.
“In this regard, CADRES is projecting a level of support for Team Unity of 54 per cent which computes to a swing of four per cent in Team Unity’s favour which we believe is sufficient for it to successfully defend all the seats it currently has and threaten one additional seat in St Kitts.
“This swing projection is statistically similar to that of 2018 suggesting that the political environment continues to be more favourable to Team Unity as this time,” it added.
CADRES also said that its poll this year relates to leadership, with the leadership of Team Unity preferred over the alternative.
It said 53 per cent of people polled preferred the leadership of Prime Minister Harris, compared to 39 per cent preferring the leadership of the main opposition parties.
“The movement regarding leadership within parties is also interesting as in 2018 the non-Douglas options in the Labour/NRP totalled five per cent, while non-Harris options in Team Unity totalled 27 per cent.. On this occasion there has been considerable consolidation within Team Unity, with non-Harris options totalling 13 per cent, while the situation within the Labour/NRP group remained the same,” CADRES said.
It said that the other noteworthy observation relating to leadership is the fact that Harris leads at this time among “uncommitted voters” as 29 per cent of these persons said they would prefer to be led by him, while 22 per cent opted for the leadership of Douglas.