‘Believe in The Bahamas’ resonated among voters, researchers say

The PLP ran a strong campaign that centered on believing in the potential of the Bahamian people, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner said in a statement.

“Believe in The Bahamas resonated with voters as the [Free National Movement] government’s policies failed to put the Bahamian people ahead of special interests and neglected a staggering problem with crime,” said the company, which provided services for the PLP during the 2012 general election campaign.

“The PLP’s detailed plan to fight crime, create jobs for Bahamians, and double the investment in education and training was strongly endorsed by the electorate.”

Kristi Lowe, senior associate at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, noted that, “Christie and the PLP achieved a great victory.”

Lowe said, “We extend them our best wishes as they approach the challenges of reducing crime, reviving the economy, and enacting policies that put faith in what the Bahamian people can achieve if given the opportunity.”

Christie and the PLP took 29 of the 38 seats in Parliament. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner noted that this is a strong majority.

After its loss at the polls in 2007, the leadership of the PLP commissioned the research firm to study what went wrong for the party.

That report revealed that 57 percent of respondents cited Christie’s perceived ‘weak leadership’ as the reason they decided not to vote PLP.

The ‘weak leadership’ issue was widely discussed with now former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham stating repeatedly that the 2007 election was about leadership. The survey said the alleged scandals that plagued the PLP leading up to the vote took their toll.

The report highlighted the perception of scandal within the PLP ranks as well as the perception that the leader of the PLP was considered a weak leader.

The report also highlighted steps that the party should take to rebrand its image, so as to gain the confidence of the Bahamian electorate.

It recommended expanding the party’s base; cleansing the party’s reputation; conveying Christie’s leadership qualities and advancing a progressive social agenda.

“It needs to take concrete actions that convey its seriousness about purging corruption from the party and state,” said the report.

“There is a perception among voters — one deepened by the FNM — that the PLP has become more focused on doing things that benefit its own politicians than for people.”

It’s a claim Ingraham made repeatedly on the campaign trail in the months and weeks leading up to the 2007 and 2012 elections.

Ingraham also accused Christie of presiding over “the most chaotic, last-minute, indecisive and incompetent government since independence”.

Ingraham had claimed that the PLP was besieged by scandal and incompetence and had painted the party as corrupt.

But in one of his final campaign speeches before the recent election, Christie noted that, while Ingraham repeatedly accused the former PLP administration of corruption, he failed to bring any evidence to prove this, and failed to cause anyone to be prosecuted for this alleged corruption.

Following the election last Monday, Ingraham announced that he will not take his seat in Parliament and that he will resign as leader of the Free National Movement. 

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