While President David Granger is heavily favoured as the more popular candidate when compared to the PPP Civic’s Irfaan Ali, the opinion poll conducted by the Barbados based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), has found that there is an even split among the population when it comes to the perception of which party will win the next elections and which party is enjoying overall support.
According to the poll which was conducted in February, 84% of APNU+AFC supporters believe that the coalition will be reelected, while 87% of the supporters of the PPP are of the view that the Opposition party will take the reigns of Government.
Only 3% of APNU+AFC supporters believe the PPP will win and on the other side, only 3% of PPP/Civic supporters believe the APNU+AFC will win the next elections.
But the poll becomes interesting when one zeroes in on the persons who have identified themselves as “Uncertain voters”. 34% of the uncertain voters surveyed believe that the coalition will win the next elections while 36% are of the perception that the PPP/Civic will win.
According to the polling organisation, “the fact that a clear majority does not see it as a likely winner and moreover that a majority of “Uncertain Voters” believe that the PPP Civic would win, demonstrates a clear handicap in terms of perception, that the APNU+AFC needs to overcome”.
It also becomes worrying for the incumbent when the issue of the need for a change in government comes up.
According to the CADRES Poll, 57% of the persons who were questioned believe that there is a need for a change in government while 43% believe there is no need for a change in government.
Along party lines, 97% of the persons who identified themselves as PPP supporters believe there is need for a change in government while 90% of those who identified themselves as APNU+AFC supporters do not believe there is a need for a change in government.
Among the “Uncertain Voters”, 65% of them believe there is need for a change while 34% are of the view that there is no need for a change in government.
The Pollster summarised that “the majority of uncertain voters are convinced of the need for a Change of Government. As this statistic is not consistent with the remainder of the survey, it is worthy of reflection and implies that people do have clear reservations about the APNU+AFC government but still prefer it as the alternative to the PPP/Civic”.
When it comes the question of voting in the next elections, there is a dead heat in the poll. 94% of APNU+AFC supporters and 94% of PPP Civic supporters indicated that they plan to vote in the next elections.
For those who have no plan to vote, 2% of APNU+AFC supporters and 3% of PPP/Civic supporters said they will not vote.
In terms of the “Uncertain Voters”, 58% of them said they intend to vote while 14% have no plans to vote in the next elections.
In total, 82% of the persons polled said they have plans to vote with 6% saying they do not intend to vote.
The poll found that of the 1,080 persons questioned, 35% of them said they intend to support the coalition while 31% intend to support the PPP Civic.
21% of the persons questioned told the pollster that they would not say who they plan to vote for while 7% indicated that they are not sure who will get their support.
Of the smaller parties, the FED UP Party was the only one mentioned, picking up support from 2% of those who answered questions for the poll.
The United Force, Liberty and Justice Party, A New United Guyana and the United Republic Party were all locked in as picking up 0% in support from those questioned.
In summary, the CADRES organisation found that while there is a perception that the PPP/Civic would win an election if it were called, that is contradicted by the expressed intention of voters, “a majority of whom support the APNU+AFC”.
The opinion poll also found that based on the party profile, the APNU+AFC has caught the eye of more young people and that is an asset for the coalition going into the next elections.
The poll was conducted in the 10 Administrative Regions of Guyana with a total of 1,084 persons being questioned.
34% of those questioned were identified as Afro Guyanese, 32% were identified as Indo Guyanese, 22% identified as mixed race, 7% were identified as Amerindians, 2% as Portuguese and 0.1% were Anglo Guyanese (white). 2% identified themselves as being of another race.
The poll was commissioned by the APNU+AFC coalition as the party prepares for the next elections.