ULP General Secretary:  Now that is baloney!
November 15, 2013

ULP General Secretary: Now that is baloney!

Did the Unity Labour Party (ULP) carry out another poll this year, just before the one conducted in October by Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES)?{{more}}

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace says “Yes”.

However, the ULP’s General Secretary Julian Francis says “No”.

Eustace, speaking on the New Democratic Party (NDP) New Times Radio programme on Monday, said while the ULP is speaking about a poll conducted by CADRES last month, there is another poll that nothing is being said about.

“Well, there were election polls already this year, you know, that you don’t hear about, done by the ULP, this year. And one of the conclusions of a poll done between July and September, this year, concluded that NDP could get up to 13 seats…. Done by the ULP; they ain’t saying that,” the Opposition Leader added.

Eustace said he listens to all the talk concerning the poll, but does not comment too much on it.

“When they talked about the poll the other day, they said how they are going to win two or four more seats, but they said the people are most concerned about the state of the economy.

“Well, is they have the economy so. So how people can be looking at them to get more seats? Who they think they fooling?

“I ain’t bother to make much comment on the poll you know.”

Eustace, who led the New Democratic Party to electoral defeats in 2001, 2005 and 2010, said the earlier ULP poll indicates that NDP candidate for East St George Dr Linton Lewis will defeat ULP incumbent Clayton Burgin, and ULP prospectives Camillo Gonsalves and Fitz Huggins next time around.

“They did a poll covering … East St George, where Linton Lewis is running, and Linton beat Burgin 60 per cent to 38.5 per cent. That is their poll…. And they also did it for Camillo and for Fitz Huggins and Burgin beat both of them with his 38.5.

“So, there are polls going on… there are polls going on.

“Eventually the electorate will speak and we will know where the real poll is. That’s what happens. There’s a lot of talk going around, but people, they will see it in the end,” Eustace said.

“If they are doing so well, they should call the election now.

“Whey we waiting for? What they waiting for?

“If they so good, call it now…. I heard Linton Lewis mention some of these figures on the radio already you know, on Cross Country. Nobody pick up,” the NDP president said.

“Nobody picked it up when he mentioned it. Nobody said that ain’t true. They ignored it….

“But I want them… let them come and deny this,” Eustace further stated.

“Let them come and deny this that their polls say that the NDP gets up to 13 seats and that Linton in his seat will beat Burgin, Camillo and Huggins, whichever one of them run in the next election,” he added.

However, general secretary of the ruling ULP Julian Francis, speaking on Star Radio Tuesday night, emphatically denied Eustace’s claims.

“Now that is baloney!” Francis declared.

“….First of all the Unity Labour Party did one poll. Let me state categoricall;, the last time the Unity Labour Party did a poll was in November of 2010, before this poll here…. So, all this thing that coming out here, that we did a poll in the year, July to September, we did no poll from July to September. I am stating categorically that we did a poll in October. First and second week of October, not no July to September.”

According to Peter Wickham of CADRES, the October 2013 poll conducted by the ULP reflected a two per cent swing favouring the ULP and indicated that if general elections had been called during that period, the ULP would have won an additional two to four seats. Additionally, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is now preferred by 61 per cent of Vincentians, while the Opposition Leader is preferred by 38 per cent of Vincentians.

Francis said the results of the poll done last month were compared with those of the poll done in November 2010, and the findings have upset the NDP president.

Francis also said that a poll during mid-term is done for strategic planning. This, he said, helps to either confirm or not confirm some of the things that the ULP feel and know on the ground.

“But you on it every day; you want to make sure that what you are feeling, you want it confirmed by scientific data. And that is why we do polls.

“We are a scientific party. We don’t do things by guess,” Francis said.

The general secretary also denied the Leader of the Opposition’s claims about the East St George constitutency.

“That is nowhere in the poll…

“He said that we conducted that poll. We ain’t conduct no separate poll in East St George. What we did in East St George, we did in all the constituencies,” Francis explained.

Francis said the fact that Fitz Huggins’ name is mentioned confirms that Eustace’s claims are fabricated.

“Fitz Huggins’ name was nowhere in the poll. In each constituency, we called names; we put names and we asked people how they feel about these individuals.

“To show you how false and fabricated this is, Fitz Huggins name was never there.”

Francis said no separate poll was done in the individual constituencies, but rather covered 1,000 persons across the country.

The poll did an assessment of the strongest selling point of a political party and the weakness of the party.

“Let me tell Eustace this. If you want to know what in the poll, ah gwine tell yuh because he will move from shell shocked to maybe something else,” Francis said.

The general secretary said according to the October 2013 poll, 17 per cent of NDP supporters say that the strongest selling point for the Unity Labour Party is leadership, while 35 per cent of NDP supporters polled said the major weakness of the NDP is leadership.

Francis said 10 per cent of NDP supporters said Gonsalves is not too tired to continue as prime minister, while 13 per cent of NDP supporters said Eustace is too tired.

He said when asked which party stands the best chance of winning nationally, 43 per cent of those polled said the ULP and 27 per cent said the NDP.

Francis however said the “biggest headache” for Eustace was the result in East Kingstown.

“In the constituencies, we threw out names, for assessment. … The question is, who is the preferred candidate for a particular constituency…

“Well, Arnhim, inside of East Kingstown, I would tell you this one. Luke Browne is almost twice times you. Tek that between yuh eyes. 60 per cent for Luke, 35 per cent for you… In East Kingstown, Arnhim, the poll tells us that Luke Browne is a preferred candidate to you.

“If you think you were shell shocked before and you think that what you did as a poll for your party, and the results that you get, you coming now to spin it to say that we did poll, and these were the results in the poll, then try again. The real poll is the one that the Unity Labour Party did,” Francis said. (AA)