The results of an election poll just released by Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) reveal that a larger percentage of those polled have committed to vote for the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) than for the rival United Workers Party (UWP). However, the polling organization has acknowledged that the outcome of the upcoming general election could be determined by the significant number of uncertain voters borne out by the poll.
The results of the CADRES poll, which was conducted during the month of October, 2019, was presented by the company’s Director, Peter Wickham, at the Garraway Hotel this morning.
A press release issued by CADRES at the presentation, states that 37% of respondents said that they were committed to voting for the DLP, while 30% expressed their commitment to vote for the UWP. 1% said “another party” which the pollsters are presuming “spoke to a political entity which did not materialize on nomination day.”
A total of 32% did not commit either way and, according to CADRES, this group is referred to as the “Uncertain” Vote and is clearly large enough to influence the outcome of the election in either way.
” Assumptions regarding the outcome of this election would naturally revolve around the voting behaviour of this “Uncertain” group which has admittedly conveyed some sense of their support by virtue of their Prime Ministerial preference,” Wickham states in his analysis.
He adds that CADRES has noted that this group generally splits along historic lines in the Caribbean and this tradition would also favour the incumbent.
When questioned by reporters at the CADRES presentation on Thursday, Wickham maintained that despite the decline of support for the Dominica Labour Party they “will win the December 6, 2019 general elections.”
He said he was not at liberty to divulge information about the winners at constituency level but insisted that the DLP will win a majority of seats but added that he would be “surprised if they win a landslide.”
“I am not seeing that happening but, then again, I have seen other things, for Labour Party they need to manage a slide but I have been surprised before so…,” he stated.
“The Dominica Labour Party (DLP) has been on a downward trajectory since the last general election in 2014 and my expectations are that this will continue in this election,” Wickham continued. However, he says that the decline, if managed effectively, is not necessarily enough to cause the DLP to be removed from office.
“I have been seeing a couple of interesting phenomena…because within some specific constituencies (he did not name them when asked to) there have been movements that are interesting. I am not authorized to speak on constituency data but I think you can see a situation in the national level they are losing support but is able to impact on non-traditional seats,” Wickham said.
“We note, however, that some amount of caution needs to be observed on this occasion as voter lethargy appears to have increased since the last election. Therefore, our projection of a Labour victory could be negatively impacted IF Labour is not able to mobilise sufficiently on election day, or IF the UWP is better mobilised and able to capture the interest of these lethargic voters in the remaining weeks,” Wickham cautioned.
Wickham admitted that CADRES recently conducted a poll in 2019 but said he was not at liberty to speak about it.
“I am not here to speak of other polls but this one, conducted in October 2019, which is the most recent poll,” he said, pointing out that the polls conducted are the “property of the client” and the decision to share that information is that of the client.
Regarding the most recent poll, Wickham said, “It was commissioned by clients and we are not at liberty to disclose who the client is and who are the people that we polled.
He also revealed that electoral reform did not come up as an issue in the CADRES poll because the questions were “structured.”
“Electoral reform did not come up and suggests to me that it is not an issue which keeps people up at night. My sense from being in Dominica and I am aware of the recent issues, the machinations and the protest…and the fact that the opposition decided to contest the elections says that the issue of electoral reform can’t possibly be that pertinent to them otherwise they would not have contested the elections,” Wickham contends.