Roseau, Dominica (TDN) -- As part of its mid-term review, the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) commissioned CADRES to conduct an assessment of its performance nationally, using 13 of the 18 constituencies that it currently represents in the Dominican Parliament as a barometer.
As such CADRES conducted interviews in select areas of these constituencies during the last two weeks of February 2013 and now is happy to share a summary version of the information collected with the Dominican and Caribbean public.
We do however note that the methodology employed on this occasion was designed to provide a more “localised” perspective on the Dominican political scene, and as such reference is made to overall responses that reflect an aggregate of Political Opinion in these 13 constituencies.
Since these zones are all represented by DLP Parliamentary Representatives their opinion is a useful barometer of public satisfaction with DLP representation and leadership.
CADRES’ assessment of government’s performance explored the issues of greatest importance to Dominicans along with a numerical assessment of the Government’s performance in specific policy areas.
It was determined that Dominicans are at this time most preoccupied with the issue of “Unemployment;” this is noticeably different from the major issue of concern in other Caribbean countries at this time, which is the “Cost of Living”.
Dominicans are generally most impressed with the government’s performance in “Education” and least impressed with the government’s performance in the area of “Employment”. Overall, Dominicans in these constituencies gave their government a “6” and awarded the opposition a “3.5”.
On this occasion CADRES explored two specific issues with specific questions that asked about the level of public interest in the PM’s “Villa” Issue as well as the extent to which there is a public appetite for a third party and whether people believed that the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) could fulfill that role.
It is clear from the data that Dominicans are generally not preoccupied with the “Villa” Issue since a majority of people were either not interested in it or expressed the view that they had heard enough about it already. Moreover, a clear majority of Dominicans indicated that the facts presented thus far had not altered their opinion of PM Skerrit in any tangible way.
There is also little appetite for a Third party now in these constituencies since a majority of persons indicated a lack of interest. The matter of the DFP’s future was however was less-clear since almost equal quantities of people either opted for a “Re-Brand” of the DFP, expressed the desire to see it “Cease to Exist” or were “Unsure” about what should be done with this party.
The final major area of concern in these constituencies was the matter of leadership and in this regard there were several clear trends. The competitive and open question on leadership presented three clear options for Dominicans and of these, 64% preferred PM Roosevelt Skerrit, while Opposition Leader Edison James was preferred by 36% of respondents and Earle Williams by 0.2% of respondents.
The non-competitive individual ratings were similar in that Skerrit was on average rated “6.3” out of “10”, while James was rated “3.8”. The point also needs to be made that interviews were NOT done in the PM’s constituency or indeed in any of the DLP’s strongest zones.
Although the survey was not designed to test the national popularity of the DLP, or to project a notion of electoral swing, it is possible to conclude that the DLP would have been likely to win a national electoral contest that took place during the time of the poll.
As stated, CADRES surveyed 13 of the DLP’s 18 constituencies and some of the strongest zones were omitted. Since the DLP was leading in all of these constituencies (notwithstanding the higher than normal margin of error of this poll), it could reasonably be assumed that the DLP would also have won an election if one had been called in February of 2013.