Opinion poll predicts victory for Antigua opposition party

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday January 31, 2014, CMC – The main opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) is tipped to win 11 of the 17 seats in the general elections constitutionally due here by March this year.

The Barbados-based, Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), said it had conducted 1,000 face-to-face interviews last November on all 16 constituencies on Antigua.

CADRES director, Peter Wickham, said that the polls show a six to seven per cent percentage point swing in favour of the ALP that is seeking to prevent the ruling United Progressive Party (UPP) of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer from getting a third consecutive five-year term in office.

 “This effectively means that the UPP has lost six per cent of its support, while the ALP has gained seven per cent and the difference (1 per cent) is reflected in the assumption that the ALP has picked up support that went elsewhere in 2009,” CADRES said in a statement.

Wickham said a national swing of that size is not uncommon for a government is seeking a third term, recalling that in 2009, the swing against the UPP was five per cent and while the government lost three seats, it retained office.

“On this occasion CADRES estimates the UPP loss of seats to be at least an additional four,” he said.

In the 2004 general election, the UPP won 13 of the 17 seats, but in 2009, it won 10 seats.

ALP leader Gaston Browne, speaking on OBSERVER Radio Friday said he was not surprised at the results of the poll.

He said the evidence “on the ground” as well as another poll suggests that the ALP could win all 17 seats in the election.

“The possibility exists that we could literally sweep the UPP from office. To have…yet another pollster confirming that the Antigua Labour Party is winning is certainly welcoming news and again I am not surprised,” he added.

However a senior official of the UPP said the party was still very confident of winning the polls. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)