Polls put Friday ahead of Ralph – Sir James
Former Prime Minister and Founder of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Sir James Mitchell says the NDP is likely to win the next general elections.
“The mood of St Vincent is, tell me if I wrong, ah fed up ah Ralph,” Sir James told BOOM FM’s ‘OMG in the Morning’ radio show on Tuesday.
Speaking to Dwight “Bing” Joseph, Sir James said recent polls have shown that NPD president Dr Godwin Friday is ahead of Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and his son, finance minister Camillo Gonsalves when it comes to likability and integrity.
He did not say who conducted the poll but in answering a question from Joseph about if the NDP conducts polls, Sir James answered, “the ULP has no monopoly on polls.”
The Unity Labour Party (ULP) has won the last four General Elections and is aiming for a fifth in the next diplomatic process, which is constitutionally due by March 2021.
Sir James said that at this point in time, persons do not have a negative view of Dr Friday and that is important.
“That is not just a matter of ‘ah voting for the Comrade again’ you know, because you see, it’s all in the context of COVID, all in the context of pressure, all in the context of victimization, all in the question of choice,” Sir James said.
He added, “Even before COVID, people have been suffering in this country and we know that is not Son Mitchell saying so. Whether you like me or not, you know that things are bad in this place and it was bad before COVID.”
“I am always mindful of the fact that what really matters is the framework of the party and the mood of the people,” he said, while noting that you have to look at the question of leadership and then placing the right person to contest a seat.
He said that going into an election, leadership is the number one factor, followed by strategy, then money, then team.
“If you have good leadership, money will come,” he said.
Sir James said the country is “hard” and someone told him recently that a man and his wife were getting in their car to go to work (before COVID-19 hit) and saw a school aged boy in the street.
He said the couple inquired of the child why he was not in school and the child said he did not have any breakfast and the couple gave him a sandwich.
“…And he said, ‘wrap up half to carry for my mother she has nothing to eat’…and that is St Vincent,” said Sir James, who noted that Gonsalves has to be very careful about the date he sets for the next elections.
“I am pretty sure that Prime Minister Gonsalves not calling the election before his birthday,” Mitchell joked.
The Prime Minister’s birthday is August 8.