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NDP behind in Kingstown constituencies

NDP behind in Kingstown constituencies

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A poll done by Projects Promotions Ltd is showing that the candidates of the incumbent Unity Labour Party (ULP) are leading in the constituencies of East Kingstown, Central Kingstown and West Kingstown.{{more}}

At a press conference held on Wednesday, December 1, Cecil Ryan, Manager of Projects Promotion Ltd and Principal Researcher, announced that the poll was carried out during the period Saturday, November 20, to Saturday, November 27.

He said the poll, which could have cost approximately EC$40,000 if a price was placed on it, was done independently by his organization.

Ryan said when respondents were asked which of the candidates they would vote for in the December 13 General Elections, in Central Kingstown, 67 persons or 63.8 percent said they will vote for Elvis Charles of the ULP, while 38 persons or 36.2 percent expressed that they will vote for Senator St.Clair Leacock of the NDP. The poll indicated that 41 respondents stated that they didn’t know who they will be voting for, while 54 gave no response.

“It is important to note, though, that the non-response rate in that [constituency] is high. But even when those are factored into the equation, Mr. Charles still accruded more than ten percent points above Mr. Leacock,” said Ryan.

In the case of East Kingstown, Ryan stated that 56 persons or 42.4 percent noted that they will vote for Political Leader of the NDP, Arnhim Eustace, as opposed to 76 persons or 57.6 percent for the youngest candidate contesting the General Elections, Luke Browne, of the incumbent ULP. Thirty-four persons expressed that they did not know for whom they will vote, while 31 failed to give a response.

The Projects Promotions Ltd findings showed that in West Kingstown, 77 persons surveyed or 57 per cent indicated that they will be voting for Michelle Fife, of the incumbent ULP, while 58 persons or 43 per cent said they will vote for Senator Daniel Cummings, of the NDP. Twenty-four respondents pointed out that they did not know who they will vote for, while 38 individuals declined to give a response.

Ryan said of interest also are the findings in Central Kingstown, East Kingstown and West Kingstown, respectively, where 74.2 percent, 60.8 percent and 51.3 percent of respondents indicated that Dr.Ralph Gonsalves is the best man for prime minister.

On the other hand, 25.8

percent, 39.2 percent and 24.6 percent of respondents from Central Kingstown, East Kingstown and West Kingstown, respectively, noted Eustace is the better man to be prime minister.

“This is an independent poll. I want to make that very clear up front. Nobody financed us. We did it ourselves,” said Ryan. The 2005 election list was used to select the sample.

Ryan listed several reasons for choosing to conduct the opinion poll in the three Kingstown constituencies: a limited budget, the historical pattern that the rest of the country goes where Kingstown goes, the fact that the three Kingstown seats played a pivotal role in the process and outcome of the 2009 Referendum, the closeness of the 2005 election results in these constituencies, and the clash of three new ULP candidates against experienced NDP

candidates.

Ryan said the intention was to survey 600 hundred respondents, but when the results were being collated, they were short of one sample in the constituency of West Kingstown. Two hundred persons were surveyed in each constituency.

Responding to a question from SEARCHLIGHT on the objectivity of the poll, Ryan said: “In terms of myself as a citizen, and given my own background and my own political involvement over the years, I make the decision as to which party I support based on the policies of the party. I make no bones about that. I make no excuse about that.

“From the point of view of conducting an exercise like this, as I indicated to you, nobody paid us to do it….While, yes, I have my political bias, in terms of the exercise, it is not based on any kind of bias,” said Ryan, noting that he has the sampling frame and anyone who wants to repeat the poll can do it by using a computer programme called Statistical Package for the Social Scientists (SPSS), which he used.

He, however, disclosed that in West Kingstown, when the information was being entered into the computer programme, they discovered some inconsistencies and realised that there was some contamination of the data. He said when the sampler for this area was questioned, she disclosed that her sister had assisted her in doing the poll.

“We had to dump that entire sample…and people had to go back out into the field,” said Ryan.

At a press conference on Wednesday evening, Eustace, commenting on the Project Promotions Ltd poll, said it was a waste of time. However, he stated that he was confident he would win his seat again by a bigger margin. Eustace said he was looking forward to the NDP winning all seats.

In 2005, in East Kingstown, Eustace beat Julian Francis of the ULP by 2,300 votes to 2,143; in Central Kingstown, the ULP’s Conrad Sayers beat the NDP’s St. Claire Leacock 1,981 votes to 1,965; while in West Kingstown, the ULP’s René Baptiste beat the NDP’s Daniel Cummings 2,012 votes to 1,977.

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