Poll shows FNM ahead
ROYSTON JONES JR.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Apr 20, 2017
A recent national survey on the political climate in The Bahamas commissioned by the Free National Movement (FNM), shows the FNM has a much higher favorability rating than the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), but 32 percent of participants were undecided.
The survey, which reflects a snapshot of the electorate, was conducted by Ragnar Research Partners, a public opinion research group based in the United States.
Three hundred registered voters were interviewed on April 11 and 12, 2017.
The results show that 56 percent of participants held a favorable opinion of the FNM, compared to 16 percent, who had an unfavorable opinion of the party.
This resulted in a net favorability rating of 40 percentage points.
The unfavorability ratings of both the PLP and DNA were approximately double that of the FNM.
Only 36 percent of participants held a favorable opinion of the PLP.
Thirty-seven percent of participants said they had an unfavorable opinion of the governing party, leaving the PLP with a net favorability of negative one percentage point.
A similar percentage of participants had a favorable and unfavorable view of the DNA — 34 percent favorable and 31 percent unfavorable.
The DNA came away with a net favorability score of three percentage points.
As it relates to leaders vying to become prime minister, FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minis had the highest net favorability with 25 percentage points, based on the 44 percent of participants that had a favorable opinion of him, compared to the 19 percent of participants that held an unfavorable opinion of him.
Minnis’ score was five times higher than that of Prime Minister Perry Christie.
According to the survey, 39 percent of participants had a favorable opinion of the prime minister, but nearly an equal percentage of participants — 34 percent — held an unfavorable opinion of him, resulting in a net favorability of five percentage points.
Twenty-nine percent of participants reflected a favorable opinion of DNA Leader Branville McCartney, but 25 percent of participants had an unfavorable opinion of him.
His net favorability score was four percentage points.
According to the poll, the margin of error is plus or minus 5.9 percent.
The survey may have implications for the attractiveness of the three parties in the minds of voters.
A memorandum from Chris Perkins, a partner at Ragnar Research Partners, to the FNM leadership, said, “This is very good data for us.
“The voters view the FNM and Dr. Minnis [in] a favorable light, meaning our positive messaging has been effective.
“Along the same lines, the PLP and Christie had statistically the same favorable and unfavorable percentages.
“This is not good for the majority party, especially when comparing the image of the opposition party (FNM).
“The voters are clearly looking for an alternative.
“The significant advantage of the FNM’s image translates to the ballot among those that have formed an opinion of both the FNM and PLP — 50 percent of all voters.
“It’s likely that when voters do cast their ballot, they will have formed an opinion of both parties and both leaders of each party.
“While there is still significant undecided percentage, the trajectory bodes well for us. Going forward, if our image stays strong and the PLP’s remains even, we are well positioned for victory.”