ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A majority of the electorate that indicated it would not vote for either of the major political parties, popularly referred to as “the 40 per cent” has shrunk, a recent poll has showed.
The latest Mind of the Nation survey indicated that 37 per cent of residents sampled said if the election were held right now, they would not vote for the United Progressive Party (UPP) or the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) candidate running in their constituency.
That statistic is down from 40 per cent when the same poll was taken a year ago. The fall in independent voters is to the benefit of the ALP, which appears to be gaining momentum.
Results of the poll, which randomly sampled 854 residents, showed that 32.9 per cent would vote for the ALP candidate in their constituency, up from 24.5 per cent last year.
Thirty per cent of respondents say they would vote for the UPP candidate if elections were called. This number has shifted downward from 34.8.
This year, Richards and Associates conducted the survey from June 27 to July 24 via fixed/residential telephone lines.
The pollsters said the hypothetical ALP candidate “emphatically” beat the UPP counterpart in the 18-25 and 26-35 age groups.
Forty-one per cent of residents between 18 and 25 years would vote for the Labour Party compared with 29.3 per cent for the governing UPP. The gap widens in the 26 to 35 category. There, 36.3 per cent said they would vote ALP, while only 16.3 would vote for UPP, and 48 per cent of people in that category indicated they would vote for neither.
Neither gender nor education was a strong determinant of which party residents would vote for.
On the question of how satisfied residents are with the direction things are going in the country, 72 per cent were either somewhat or very dissatisfied. Only 27.5 per cent were somewhat satisfied or very satisfied.
The Mind of the Nation poll seeks to determine the attitudes of Antiguan and Barbudan adults with regards to the economy, political issues, and voting preferences.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)