For the first time since 2011, more citizens of Trinidad and Tobago approve of the job Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is doing than those who don’t, a new opinion poll has shown.
Commissioned by the Trinidad Express, the poll conducted by local company Solution by Simulation (SBS) indicated that 48 per cent of respondents interviewed approve of the job Persad-Bissessar is doing as prime minister compared to 42 per cent who disapprove.
Her approval rating of 48 per cent compared to 37 per cent in 2013 and 38 per cent in 2012.
From May 12 to May 21 SBS interviewed 700 adults throughout the country via telephone calls.
The margin of error for the overall sample is +/- 3.7 per cent.
Persad-Bissessar fired former minister of the people Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh on March 25 following an incident with a cabin attendant on a Tobago flight.
On March 31, she revoked the appointment of Chandresh Sharma as Tourism Minister after he resigned following an alleged incident at the Grand Bazaar mall involving Sharma’s former girlfriend Sacha Singh.
The poll also shows that while respondents approve of Persad-Bissessar, their confidence does not extend to Government, with only a 27 per cent approval rating in the Government overall.
Following is an analysis of the poll results by SBS:
At the fourth anniversary of the People’s Partnership Government, this poll finds an increase in the share of the population that approve of the job that the Prime Minister is doing. Forty-eight per cent approve of the job she is doing, compared to 37 per cent in 2013 and 38 per cent in 2012. However the poll does not only reveal “good news” for the Government: the public has a low level of confidence in the government and in public institutions in general; the approval of the Prime Minister is polarised along racial lines; and there is near unanimous concern about the crime situation.
In this report, the results of the poll are compared with exclusive Express polls conducted in April 2011, November 2012 and May 2013. This is the first time that the Express Government Anniversary poll was conducted by Solution by Simulation. The previous polls were conducted by Market Facts and Opinions (MFO). It is reasonable to make comparisons since contemporaneous MFO and SBS polls have reported near identical support for the government, while SBS polls have generally reported higher numbers for the Opposition and lower
levels of undecided persons than contemporaneous MFO polls.
Solution by Simulation interviewed 700 adults in Trinidad and Tobago via live telephone calls from May 12 to May 21. The margin of error for the overall sample is +/- 3.7 per cent. The poll was commissioned by the Trinidad Express Newspaper.
The polling sample was selected to correctly represent the location, race, age and socio-economic characteristics of the population.
Prime Minister’s Job Approval
For the first time since 2011, the Prime Minister’s approval rating exceeds her disapproval rating. Forty-eight percent of respondents approve of the job that she is doing as Prime Minister, compared to 42 per cent who disapprove. This equates to a “net approval” rating of +6 per cent, rebounding from a mid-term low of -21 per cent net approval last year.
Confidence in the Government
The positive net approval rating of the Prime Minister does not extend to confidence in the Government. Only 21 per cent of the population has confidence in Parliament, 29 per cent in the Opposition and, 27 per cent in the Government overall. Even among those who approve of the job the Prime Minister is doing, only 45 per cent express confidence in the Government, 25 per cent have no confidence, and 26 per cent are not sure.
The approval ratings correlate strongly with race, with persons of East-Indian descent approving of the Prime Minister 67 per cent to 24 per cent, and persons of African descent approving of the Prime Minister at a much lower rate (30 per cent to 58 per cent). Men are more approving of the Prime Minister than women, older persons more than the middle aged, and those educated up to the primary level more than the tertiary-level educated.
Tomorrow: How other elected officials rate