SLP Questions CADRES Poll

THE Saint Lucia Labour Party has questioned the results of a poll on the St Lucia political situation ahead of Monday’s general election, which was conducted by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES).

Labour Party’s Stanley Felix mobbed by supporters after filling out his nomination papers last Saturday
Labour Party’s Stanley Felix mobbed by supporters after filling out his nomination papers last Saturday

The SLP said it takes the results of election polls seriously and noted that in the CADRES poll released by Mr. Peter Wickham, “the lead of the Saint Lucia Labour Party over the United Workers Party was confirmed”.

But the SLP said the party had recently conducted two of its own polls with two different reputable pollsters and both of these polls indicated that the Labour Party “is firmly in sight of an election victory” in Monday’s general election.

The following is the rest of the SLP statement: “In our analysis of the CADRES poll, we observed some interesting findings that require further explanation. For example, the CADRES poll sampled 1,000 persons, of which only 14% said they do not intend to vote. However, voter turnout in Saint Lucia is traditionally 55%, which means that roughly 45% of our voting population does not vote. This puts Mr. Wickham’s figures at variance with historical trends, because it suggests an 86% voter turnout. The best voter turnout in the last thirty years took place in the 1997 General Election, and even then, voter turnout did not hit the 70% mark.

“If the CADRES sample is only of likely voters and not total voters, then the 14% figure should not exist. So there clearly is a major discrepancy in the CADRES poll results and Mr. Wickham needs to explain whether his figures are based on likely voters or all respondents.

“Secondly, in Mr. Wickham’s analysis, after he has taken the SLP, UWP and Other/Independent Voters into account, he refers to the remaining group of 30% as ‘uncertain voters’. However, in this category is a 10% group which the survey categorized as ‘Won’t Say’. This ‘Won’t Say’ category is not uncertain; it is certain but will not reveal its voting choice. Therefore, to use the 30% figure as his predictive is faulty and the results from that predictive are not accurate.

“From a statistical perspective, even if the ‘Won’t Vote’ category is accepted, even when it should not be part of the analysis, then it should be removed from any further predictive analysis (since these people will not be voting), as should the 10% who know where they will vote but have declined to reveal this to the pollster.

“Therefore, the prediction of uncertain voters should be on an 8% sample and not 30% as Mr. Wickham claims.

“Another curious part of Mr Wickham’s analysis is his conclusion on the change in support for the various political leaders. The CADRES poll states that presently, Dr. Kenny Anthony enjoys a 31% favourability rating, which is the same rating he enjoyed in October 2015. It goes on to reveal that Allen Chastanet currently trails Prime Minister Anthony, with a 28% favourability rating, compared to a 19% favourability rating nine months ago. Mr. Wickham’s shocking conclusion is that Dr. Anthony has lost more than half of his support, while Mr. Chastanet has doubled his support. However, this is not substantiated by the results. First of all, it indicates that Prime Minister Kenny Anthony’s support is unchanged from nine months ago, not diminished as suggested by Peter Wickham. Secondly, Mr. Wickham has not indicated whether the support that Allen Chastanet has appeared to have picked up in the current poll is support that nine months ago was going to Stephenson King.

‎”Finally, Mr. Peter Wickham declined to discuss his predictive tool and how it is based, except to state that it is highly successful. This assertion, however, is not supported by Mr. Wickham’s recent track record.

“These findings notwithstanding, The Saint Lucia Labour Party is very much aware of the fact that general elections are won on election day and we will continue our unrelenting campaign to convince Saint Lucians that the Saint Lucia Labour Party is the only choice for continued growth, stability and progress in our country.”

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