By Marion V. Ali
An online survey conducted by the Belize Independent Development Research Group (BIDRG) indicates that if general elections were to be held today, more people would vote for Dean Barrow and the United Democratic Party (UDP), and the 52 percent of people who abstained in the municipal elections have reduced significantly.
The survey, conducted between August first and eighth, 2015, asks in question 5 (the results of which are shown in the graphs): If the general election were held today, would you vote for Dean Barrow and the UDP or Francis Fonseca and the PUP?
Question 4 asks: Do you think Dean Barrow has done his job well enough as Prime Minister to deserve re-election or do you think it is time to give a new person a chance?
Question 7 asks: What is your view of Dean Barrow as a leader of the UDP? And Question 8 asks: What is your view of Francis Fonseca as a leader of the PUP? The responses to these favour Barrow over Fonseca.
But while these responses mostly favour Mr Barrow and the UDP, there are some areas where the respondents were reserved. For instance, in Question 1: Would you rate your chances of voting in the upcoming general elections as excellent, good, fair or poor?
While the general consensus is that more people are inclined to vote if the elections were held now, the number of “undecided” persons is still significantly high.
The response to Question 2 indicates best how people feel about the way our country is being governed: Generally speaking, do you think the country is headed in the right direction, or do you think the country is on the wrong track? A wide percentage felt the country is in for serious trouble.
Question 3 also reflects how people feel about the quality of life in Belize: What is the single most important problem facing Belize today? That is, the one you would like to see resolved by your elected officials.
Economics and lack of employment are the key problems, based on the responses.
People also felt that the individuals leading the political parties have a bearing on whether electors would support their party on election day.
Question 6 asked the participants if they would vote for a credible alternative/third party. The majority of those polled say they would consider supporting that party over the UDP or PUP.
BIDRG says it is an independent, private, non-profit consultancy group, and that this was the first in a series of planned, independent polls “to check the pulse of the Belizean electorate over the course of the next few months, as the country approaches its most important General Elections ever.”
BIDRG says the results and analysis provided are authentic and directly reflect the aggregate views of the 1,000 persons who participated in the survey on an online web portal, through a link dispersed on Facebook, Whatsapp and by email.
BIDRG says that only one response was allowed per computer or device and input was totally anonymous.