Pollster Peter Wickham has derided Democratic Labour Party (DLP) stalwart Robert Bobby Morris, who yesterday utterly dismissed an opinion poll conducted by Wickham’s Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), which found support for Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and the DLP at an all-time low.
In dismissing the poll results, Morris had said that districts were chosen strategically to get a desired result.
An upset Wickham has reacted forcefully, telling Barbados TODAY Morris had behaved like a “common yard-fowl”, and the comment was “both offensive and disturbing”, bearing in mind he had always seen Morris as one of the superior intellects in the DLP.
He also defended his polling method, saying it had been used successfully by CADRES over the last 20 years, and both major political parties were in receipt of the specific polling divisions used.
“I would therefore challenge Morris to identify the specific polling districts that we used that were biased. If he is unable to do so he should do the decent thing and apologize for attempting to sully the professional reputation of CADRES,” Wickham said.
The survey conducted on behalf of Nation newspaper and published in the Sunday Sun found Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader Mia Mottley to be the number one choice for Prime Minister with 52 per cent support, followed by former Prime Minister Owen Arthur with 18 per cent, and Stuart with eight per cent –– one point better than Minister of Labour Senator Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo.
The poll, which was conducted in the immediate aftermath of the May 30 Budget, also showed that support for embattled Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler had plummeted, with him no longer being viewed as an obvious Stuart successor, mustering only 0.6 per cent support in terms of leadership preference behind the DLP’s Donville Inniss and David Estwick (who polled six per cent each) and Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy (three per cent).
It also suggested that the Mottley-led BLP was on course for a landslide victory in the next election, with support for the DLP at an all-time low of 11 per cent, compared to 51 per cent for the BLP, while the remainder was undecided.
Morris told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview yesterday, the poll should not be taken seriously because it was not scientific.
“I believe that the districts that were chosen were strategically chosen to get a result. It is nonsensical to say that Stuart can only get eight per cent of support of respondents. The poll does not touch base with reality at any point at all,” the former Member of Parliament for Christ Church East Central had said.
However, Wickham said it was preposterous to suggest that CADRES would abandon its professional ethics and go in search of specific areas where Stuart was unpopular in pursuit of a predetermined outcome.
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 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.