ROSEAU, Dominica, Thursday October 30, 2014, CMC – The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) Wednesday said it does not expect there will be a change of government in Dominica following the next general election constitutionally due by March 2015.
CADRES said the “significant political observation” of its latest political opinion survey conducted earlier this month “is the projected political swing of minus two per cent away from the ruling Dominica Labour Party (DLP) or a plus four per cent towards the United Workers Party (UWP)”.
“The variation between the two projections is a result of the fact that the CADRES projection tool relies on the electoral history of both political parties and on this occasion the Dominica Freedom Party’s (DFP’s) historic support remains unallocated.
“Notwithstanding, the direction of the swing is consistent in both instances and consistent with what would be a normal trend in the case of a fourth-term government in the Caribbean.
CADRES said the national survey in which 48 persons were polled in each 21 constituencies, was conducted between October 17-20. It has a margin of error of minus or plus five per cent.
CADRES, which has been conducting opinion polls across the Caribbean for several years, said that any movement in the upcoming general election would take place in five constituencies, namely, Roseau North, Wesley, La Plaine, Morne Jaune and Roseau Central.
“We do not anticipate any additional seats outside of this group “changing hands” nor do we expect that there would be a change of government in the next election,” CADRES said.
In the 2009 general elections, the DLP won 18 seats as compared with three for the UWP.
CADRES said the survey found that 43 per cent of respondents indicated a preference for the DLP, while 30per cent promised to support the UWP.
CADRES found that 13 per cent of respondents were unsure which party they would support in the next election, while 14 per cent refused to tell CADRES interviewers their preferred candidate or party. It said that while the DFP, which once formed the government here, is not fielding any candidates, 0.4 per cent of respondents identified themselves as DFP supporters.
The survey found that employment was the number one issue for Dominicans, followed by the cost of living and the economy.
“Apart from these no other major issues were of concern to less than 10 per cent of respondents and it is noteworthy that corruption was only a concern for two per cent of persons interviewed,” CADRES said, noting that one popular gauge used in surveys of this nature was also employed here and as such Dominicans were asked if they believed that the country was on the “right track” or heading in the “right direction”.
“In this instance, a majority of persons (42%) said they believed the country was on the “right track” while 38% believed that it was heading in the “wrong direction”. It is noteworthy here that there are 8% more Dominicans who believe that the country is heading in the “wrong direction” than there are persons promising to support the UWP in the next election.”
On the issue of leadership respondents were asked to comment both on the performance of leaders individually as well as which of the two they would prefer to lead the country at this time.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit received a rating of 6.4 out of 10 while UW leader Lennox Linton was given an average of 4.7.
“The disaggregated opinion of the “Uncertain Voters” on this question was also interesting since these are persons who did not state their party support in the questionnaire. These voters were generally less flattering of both leaders and gave PM Skerrit an average of 5.7 and Mr. Linton an average of 4.3.”
Skerrit was also liked by 63 per cent of Dominicans as the leader they would prefer to lead the country, while Linton received 37 per cent.
“It is important to stress that this survey speaks to the contemporary scenario in Dominica which could change in either direction, depending on the timing of the next election. CADRES might therefore conduct further polls which could modify this opinion as time progresses,” CADRES said in a statement.