Sunday, January 21, 2018


Exclusive ‘Express’ poll shows approval rating rising to 48%


Standing with minister: Sport Minister Anil Roberts speaks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar during the People’s Partnership fourth anniversary rally at Mid Centre Mall, Chaguanas on Saturday. The PM has described a video showing a man resembling a government minister wrapping what appears to be a marijuana cigarette as “dirty tactics” by the opposition People’s National Movement (PNM). —Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

Mark Fraser

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said yesterday she was humbled by results of a poll which show her approval ratings have increased and promised that the people of this county can expect more to come from her Government.

An Express-commissioned poll conducted by Solution by Simulation found that, for the first time since 2011, more citizens of Trinidad and Tobago approve of the job Persad-Bissessar is doing, than those who do not.

The poll found 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 is now 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.

Speaking to the Express yesterday, Persad-Bissessar said she was humbled by the poll findings and assured that she will continue to govern fearlessly and with the people always as her priority.

“It is with a deep sense of humility that I read of the increase in poll numbers attributed to the popularity of the work I do as Prime Minister. If the poll means that work we are doing is satisfying a greater number of people, then I humbly embrace it all with gratitude. This is never about how well I do, but how much we satisfy the needs and meet the expectations of those who entrust us with that responsibility,” Persad-Bissessar said.

She said the People’s Partnership Government was elected on a groundswell of huge support arising out of a period of widespread dissatisfaction and so, much was expected from a population that had endured more than they should ever have been asked to bear.

“And against all odds we persevered to turn the economy around and invest in areas where it mattered most to people across the length and breadth of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Persad-Bissessar.

“But even as I am encouraged by the polls, we have only just begun our efforts. There is so much more to be done. We have laid the groundwork, now the country will witness an increase in the level of development and new initiatives that are unparalleled in any time of our nation’s history. And that ultimately will be the full measure of the job to which I dedicate myself completely in leading,” said Persad-Bissessar.

“It is said that when you seem down, the greatest comeback you can make is on your terms. If the polls are showing a renewed confidence in me, then it is an endorsement I accept with the greatest humility and inspiration. A politician’s life at any level is filled with ups and downs but longevity is ultimately sustained by the relationship with the people,” said Persad-Bissessar.

“I have worked for the people for 30 years, walked among them and listened to them, when they said good, bad and yes, ugly. And I have learnt that every message should be taken constructively. And so, I listened for the past four years and I acted as I always do, with faith, reflection, prayers and always in the best interest of the people who gave me that overwhelming, great privilege of the mandate to serve. But more than that I acted and continue to act in confidence that those decades of trust and service I built with the people of this country has engendered a special relationship and bond which can only grow stronger and I humbly believe that this is what has reflected in your polls,” the Prime Minister added.

She said it was with a deep sense of humility that she read of the increase in poll numbers which say essentially that the people still hold their faith in her to best serve their interests.

The Prime Minister stressed that the development of the country is her vision and there is much more to come in terms of delivery to the people.

“May I take the opportunity to thank those that acknowledge these efforts and to commit myself to work even harder to satisfy the needs of everyone else.

“I remain the Kamla they endorsed and inspired to rise for 30 years. I will never stop being that person whose inspiration comes from the people and whose commitment to them will always prevail,” said Persad-Bissessar.

Persad-Bissessar and her Government on Saturday celebrated its fourth anniversary in office at the Mid centre Mall in Chaguanas since assuming office in May 2010.

Rambachan: PM is a leader

Deputy political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) and Works Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan told the Express that he was not surprised by the poll results as the Prime Minister has always led with integrity and vision regardless of pollsters,

“I am not surprised by the the Prime Minister’s increased popularity. I have always maintained that the Prime Minister is a leader who governs with principle and integrity in public life,” said Rambachan.

He said the country is now beginning to see that that the noble ideals which the Prime Minister enunciated in 2010 have been delivered in her conduct of public affairs.

“I also believe that the work of the Government, in particular in the areas of infrastructure and poverty alleviation, is beginning to be noticed and felt,” said Rambachan.

“The population is very intelligent and has seen that the negative growth which we inherited in 2010 has been turned around the GDP is now growing positively,” said Rambachan.