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No poll this time

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

No poll this time

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A regular feature of past general elections will not be present for this year’s race for the House of Assembly.

Pollster, political analyst and one of the directors of the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), Peter Wickham, says there will be no media-published poll predicting the possible outcome of the 2018 General Election.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t one, Wickham noted.

The analyst, who was speaking on Starcom Network’s Sunday BrassTacks, admitted the poll, usually published on the Sunday before Polling Day, had become a custom.

But, he said: “There is no agreement with the NATION (newspapers). I have no contract with the Nation on an ongoing basis.

“Last election, you would recall there was a first and second poll. The second poll was one which I privately raised the funding for and we were able to release it to the media, having had it funded privately,” he said on the talk show.

“I have been advised by one media house that the opportunity is there for me to do that again. But the directors of CADRES have taken a decision that we are not going that road,” he said.

Wickham said he found Barbados was “the only country” in which the media commissioned polls. Such surveys, he explained, were usually commissioned by private entities and then supplied to the media. But that did not mean the regional research company has not been surveying the public.

“We have been polling . . . but, unfortunately, none of that data will be made public. It belongs to a private entity and . . . that entity has determined it will not release that data,” Wickham said.

The pollster went on to say the analysis of the island’s 30 constituency seats based on results from the last general election, and which was published in last Sunday’s SUNDAY SUN, was an indicator of the strongest and weakest seats.

“The presumption, based on all the analysis, is that you would have a swing towards the Barbados Labour Party consistent with history . . . . We have only had one occasion where a sitting Government has actually gained support and that was in 1999. Once they are in government they lose support,” Wickham said. (HLE)