It’s all over, bar the election.
If the latest Pulse of the People informal poll is anything to go by, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley is not only a shoo-in for re-election in St Michael North East, but is also very likely to increase her victory margin whenever the election bell is rung.
During a tour of the constituency this week, Barbados TODAY spoke to several residents, the majority of whom – 80 per cent – said they were sticking with Mottley, who has been representing the area in Parliament for the past 23 years.
In her last outing in 2013, Mottley comprehensively defeated the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate Patricia Inniss by 1,918 votes, polling 3,495 votes to Inniss’ 1,577.
And with the DLP yet to say who will carry its St Michael North East banner in the next election, Mottley, the leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), appears to be on course for another resounding win at the constituency level, even though the little-known Citizens Action Partnership (CAP) – one of the island’s newest fringe political parties formed earlier this year – has taken the bold decision of fielding a rookie political candidate, security guard Peter Rock, in the area already classified as ‘Mottley country’.
With that said, utopia does not exist in St Michael North East. In fact, not everyone appeared pleased with Mottley’s representation.
Another important factor that could sway the outcome of the next election in St Michael North East is the number of residents who are either undecided or fed up with both the BLP and the DLP, even though Mottley is expected to buck any such national trend.
The first stop on the team’s three-hour journey in the constituency was Bibby’s Lane, where a man , who is clearly among the disillusioned voters, complained that he had not been getting any representation from anybody.
“This Government is the worse. ” he told Barbados TODAY, adding: “I doubt I will vote . . . I am undecided.”
Ordene Forde, another Bibby’s Lane resident, was also undecided.
The pensioner, who took the team on a tour of her rat-infested and semi-dilapidated wooden house, said while she voted for Mottley in the last election, she was not yet convinced she should do so again.
“I suffering bad. I’m undecided,” Forde said.
Her neighbour, who is referred to as Miss Inniss, had a tongue-lashing for both the Government and Mottley, and promised to stay away from the next poll, which is constitutionally due here by the middle of next year.
“I don’t get representation from anybody. The Government is no help to me. I don’t see Mia. I asked for a job, but they never noticed me. I am not voting for a soul. I vote every year for people and don’t get any assistance,” the disgruntled resident said.
However, calypsonian Mac Maclone Termite Nicholls said Mottley could count on five votes from his household.
“Everybody in my house voting for she,” said Nicholls, who was conducting business at his small village shop in Bibby’s Lane when Barbados TODAY visited.
Over at Lears, Bonney Blackman said she was going with the flow.
“It doesn’t matter who is in power . . . which candidate they send. It’s all the same,” she said.
However, suggesting that Mottley was a sure winner, 18-year-old Shakeem Crichlow described the Opposition Leader as a strong representative.
“She stands up for the people. I voting for Mia,” Crichlow said.
Samuel Phillips, who voted for the DLP in the last election, was yet to make up his mind who would get his vote. So was retired Anglican priest Reverend Ivan Harewood.
“I am undecided. I don’t know who I will vote for,” Harewood said.
However, another Lears resident who did not want to be identified, but who had been voting for her from the time she started in St Michael North East, said a victory for the BLP leader was a foregone conclusion.
“My choice is Miss Mottley. It’s Miss Mottley,” he said, pointing out that “even if I don’t favour the BLP, it’s Miss Mottley in terms of her solutions as a candidate [and] her work in the constituency”.
From Lears, the Pulse of the People team moved over to Bush Hall, a longstanding Mottley stronghold, where support for the Opposition Leader was simply overwhelming.
One resident, who wanted to be referred to simply as Arnold, suggested Barbadians should give Mottley a chance to serve as Prime Minister since she was trying to push forward the country.
“It is so confused right now, but Mia should be given a chance to lead,” he said, while describing Mottley as “helpful” and revealing that he had voted for her in the past.
Dwayne Thornhill was emphatic he is voting for the Opposition.
“The BLP!” he replied when asked who he wanted to represent him at the next election.
His sentiments were echoed by several other constituents, including Ishmael Gilkes who argued that “when Mia [BLP] was in power, things were really good.
“There is nothing now under the DLP. Things are not as happy as before,” Gilkes said.
“Mia Mottley for sure,” added Nioka Pile.
Another Bush Hall resident, Eric Payne, said Mottley was “a good woman” who was assured of his backing.
“Mia would get my vote.” Payne said.
However, there were those like Charles Bayley who remains undecided, others such as Cheryl Howell and two other residents who gave their names as Cathy Anne and Sherley, said Mottley would make a good Prime Minister and should be given an opportunity to run the country.
And there were those like Sherroll Walkes who described Mottley as a down-to-earth person who cares about her constituents and her country.