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‘Support for bold moves by Prime Minister’

By By Camille Bethel

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar’s approval rating has improved considerably in 2014, Solution by Simulation’s poll has shown.

In 2013, citizens’ approval of the Prime Minister stood at 37 per cent but this has jumped to a 48 per cent approval rating.

Nigel Henry, chief executive and lead analyst at Solution by Simulation (SBS) which conducted the poll between May 12 and 21 explained to the Sunday Express yesterday how this was possible.

“What the polls showed was actually a rebound in job performance for the Prime Minister. Last year’s Express-commissioned poll showed approval at 37 per cent and this poll showed it to be much higher, as high as 48 per cent. That may not seem to go along with the narrative that we have been seeing recently,” he said.

Henry said: “The first being that the poll was conducted before this whole scenario with the video, (showing a man resembling a government minister rolling what could be a marijuana cigarette) and maybe at this point in time we may see different results. This poll would be taken in the context of the Prime Minister taking some very serious and bold moves, including (firing one Government Minister and revoking the appointment of another). 

What we found was overwhelming support for those moves but at the same time the government and the Cabinet would have seen a decrease in their numbers. So the confidence in government is very low at 27 per cent.” 

He explained there was a trend throughout this region for governments to take a nose dive in popularity during the mid term and rebound coming closer towards election time, and although there has not been enough polling done in this country to pin it down, it was reasonable to believe that it is a regional trend. 

Henry also pointed out that Government was elected at a high of 57 per cent in 2010 but dropped to 37 per cent- 20  points- in two years. 

“So what was now being seen was a sort of levelling off or reversion which is probably where their base is, so it is not surprising that she had been able to capture some of the people from her base going back into an election,” Henry said.

He was confident the poll is accurate because others done so far by SBS have been closely validated by the election results.

“In the case of the pre-election polling it has always been the case that the election results do fall within the margin of error of the poll margins for all the pre-election polling that has been done including for the Express-commissioned polls for the Chaguanas West and St Joseph by-elections.” 

The methodology used in this particular poll, he said is even more robust than it was previously.

 “So we are confident that the results, as surprising, are the right results. It has always been more accurate than all of the published polls,” he said.

 
 
MFO results:
 
The Market Facts 
and Opinions survey commissioned by the 
Trinidad Express last year showed:
 
• 37 per cent of the respondents approved of the job the PM was doing
 
• This compared to 38 per cent in 2012 and 54 per cent in 2011.
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