Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur is now more popular than the current Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.
And if elections were held today, the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) would more than likely win by a landslide.
This is based on the latest public opinion poll conducted by the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) on behalf of the Nation Newspaper.
The poll, which was published in today’s Sunday Sun, suggests that support for both Stuart and his ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was at an all-time low with 11 per cent of respondents indicating that they would support the DLP, compared to 51 per cent for the BLP. The remainder was undecided.
The poll, which was conducted last weekend in all 30 constituencies, sampled the views of 1,060 Barbadians.
It further indicated that satisfaction with the DLP Government was at 3.3 out of ten compared to 5.3 for the BLP.
“Currently, 71 per cent of Barbadians would like a change of Government, which is similar to the quantity of persons who believe that Barbados is on the wrong track . . . It should be noted that in 2008 when there was a change of Government the desire for change stood at 48 per cent, compared to 71 per cent currently,” the poll shows.
In terms of choices for leadership, Mottley emerged as the number one choice with 52 per cent, followed by Arthur with 18 per cent, and Stuart with eight per cent, one point more than Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo who garnered seven per cent support among respondents.
Back in 2013, Stuart’s popularity had jumped from 23 per cent to 39 per cent, putting him ahead of the former Prime Minister. However, Arthur is now ten points ahead based on the latest survey.
Support for embattled Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler plummeted with him no longer being viewed as an obvious Stuart successor, mustering only 0.6 support in terms of leadership preference behind the DLP’s Donville Inniss (six per cent); Dr David Estwick (three per cent); Richard Sealy (three per cent) and the BLP’s Dale Marshall (1.3 per cent). According to the survey, Sinckler is also positioned just one place above his DLP colleague Denis Kellman (0.2 per cent) in the leadership rankings.
“It is worth repeating that a survey is a ‘snapshot’ and factors which transpire over the coming months could impact positively or negatively on the results which are presented here,” said pollster Peter Wickham, while pointing out that heavy rains last weekend had impacted on the exercise.
He also said that the poll’s proximity to the May 30 Budget “was clearly a factor that impacted on public opinion”.
“However, this would not invalidate any assessment presented here in the context of this period of time,” the pollster assured.
CADRES listed ten political parties in the survey, including all of the recently-launched political groupings. However, none of the minority parties factored in the survey results, suggesting that the next election, which is due by the middle of next year, is a straight fight between the incumbent DLP an the main Opposition BLP.