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Sinckler’s the man


Kaymar Jordan, Editor-In-Chief

Sinckler’s the man

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With Prime Minister David Thompson gravely ill, Minister of Social Care Chris Sinckler has emerged as the people’s pick for successor.
Despite murmurs in some quarters about his political inexperience and lack of readiness for national leadership, the flamboyant and outspoken 42-year-old politician has captured the imagination of Barbadians.
The majority (35 per cent) now point to him as the clear alternative, in the likelihood Thompson is forced to step away from active duty for reasons of health.
Thompson’s deputy, Attorney General Freundel Stuart, 58, however maintains the edge on Sinckler in terms of garnering internal party support, and is therefore viewed as another strong contender for the throne, based on the findings of the latest CADRES Survey commissioned by the SUNDAY SUN.
But Stuart, who is known for his oratorical skills and measured speak, is trailing his political contemporary by over ten percentage points in the national poll standings.
The public has also marked Stuart very hard for his recent performance as Acting Prime Minister while Thompson was away, for which he received less than a passing grade (47 per cent) overall.“
Nationally and among the ranks of DLP [Democratic Labour Party] supporters, there is a clear understanding that the status quo places Prime Minister Thompson as leader and Freundel Stuart as his deputy,” said pollster Peter Wickham in his report on the findings of the new CADRES study.
“It is, however, also clear that persons are less than excited about the performance of Stuart in this capacity, and believe that if a future leader needs to be selected, it should be Sinckler,” Wickham said.
Based on Sinckler and Stuart’s substantial support nationally, and among DLP supporters, Wickham is however wary of the impact “badly managed” change in leadership.
He is worried that it could become “messy”, and therefore sees the need for care in accommodating the wishes of supporters on both “sides”.  
But it is evident from the study that Thompson remains the leader of choice for Barbadians.
The poll, conducted between September 10 and 13 among 1 000 respondents in all 30 constituencies, shows him enjoying a 61 per cent approval rating.
Give or take five per cent in keeping with the prescribed margin of error, the national survey serves as testament to the fact that despite his current physical frailty, public support for the ailing 48-year-old Prime Minister and for his continuing at the helm of the Democratic Labour Party-led administration remains quite strong.
Sticking to guns
Barbadians are also sticking to their guns that the 32-month-old DLP Government should continue in office, even though they remain concerned about its leadership on issues of the economy, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and health (See Table 1) and have been less than impressed with the Government’s handling of the recent sickness of the Prime Minister (See Table 2).
 This is not welcome news for the Opposition Barbados Labour Party led by Mia Mottley, who should be concerned about the public’s lingering preference for Owen Arthur.
Nationally, former Prime Minister Arthur (22 per cent) is still preferred over Mottley (18 per cent) to lead the country, although she has more intra-party support.
“On this occasion, the BLP’s leader has improved (although marginally) and is now equal to her highest support level in 2005 . . . .
“The ‘stocks’ of the former PM have not grown significantly which suggests that his popularity appears to have ‘maxed out’ in 2009 and he will from this point pose less of a threat to the present leadership of the BLP,” the pollster’s report states.
On the whole, support for the Barbados Labour Party has fallen marginally from 46.8 per cent at the last election to 45.1 per cent.
The pollster has also raised concern about the increase in the size of the uncertain vote.

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