The poll by the Caribbean Development Research Services Inc (CADRES), shows that the BLP, lead by former prime minister Owen Arthur could win between 17 and 20 of the 30 seats to be contested in the general election.
It said that the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) headed by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart “will occupy the opposition benches with between 10 and 13 seats”.
Last weekend CADRES published a poll in which it said that voters had preferred Prime Minister Stuart to lead the country as against Arthur by a 39 to 36 per cent.
“On this occasion, Stuart’s approval rating has risen from 39 to 41 per cent while Arthur’s has remained constant at exactly 37 per cent. The disapproval rates for both leaders have increased marginally with Stuart’s moving from 40 to 41 per cent and Arthur’s moving from 38 to 41 per cent. In both instances the movement came from the uncommitted cohort which is somewhat smaller for both leaders.”
The DLP, which had been trailing the opposition for the past several months, had narrowed the gap to a statistical dead heat, according to the first poll released over the last weekend.
“The main noteworthy comparative observation is that the BLP was leading in the polls one week ago and continues to lead on this occasion and appears to have widened its lead. It is also clear to CADRES that this will be one of the most marginal and indeed competitive campaigns ever endured in this nation’s history.
“This marginality is evidenced by the fact that a shift of four to five per cent in support over the last week has resulted in a presumptive loss of five more seats for the DLP.
“CADRES has repeatedly made the point that this DLP government appears strong in terms of numbers but is in reality comparatively weaker than any other first term government that the DLP has had previously.
“As such the slightest deterioration in support will have a devastating impact on seats. It is against this background that CADRES has argued that the party better organised on Election Day in all of the marginal constituencies has what would be called a better “fighting chance” to win those “seats”.
But the pollsters said notwithstanding the possibility of DLP “surprises” in some instances, “CADRES is at this time of the opinion that the BLP will win the 2013 election on Thursday with between 17 and 20 seats, while we believe that the DLP will occupy the opposition benches with between 10 and 13 seats”.
CADRES said that the latest poll was conducted during the week February 15-18 and reflected public opinion in the second week of the campaign.
“…the point needs to be made that this second poll captured a fully evolved election campaign and the launch of both manifestos which were not available when the last poll was conducted. As such this poll in our opinion presents a far better podium from which we can assess the likely outcome of the 2013 general election.”
It said in the first poll, the non-response was 33 per cent, but on this occasion the non-response was 24 per cent.
The pollsters found that the “data indicates that a majority of Barbadians are not satisfied that “we” are on the right track, and a similarly marginal majority believe that it is time for a change of government.
“These two responses indicate a high level of indecision on the part of the electorate which is clearly divided about the extent to which the government should be changed, and whether it has performed well.”
Reprinted from Caribbean360