Leaders of the three political parties that make up the Team Unity coalition. (L-R): Political leader of the People's Action Movement (PAM), the Hon. Shawn Richards; Prime Minister and Political leader of the People's Labour Party (PLP), Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; Political leader of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM), Hon. Mark Brantley (SKNIS photo)

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 31st January 2020) –Bill Johnson, an international hired pollster who back then predicted Team Unity’s February 2015 win is of the view that the present administration will not get a second term, which contradicts the findings of the government’s survey conducted by the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES).

This comes in accordance with the details he revealed during a live interview on Freedom FM with an ‘Issues’ session with Juni Liburd on Wednesday 29th January 2020, stemming from a December 2019 survey conducted on the island in all eight constituencies showing a lead by the opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP).

“I think my record will show particularly in St.Kitts. I have an amazingly accurate record. As a matter of fact, two days before the last election, I wasn’t working for Labour in the last election; I was hired by Team Unity, and I was on the radio and I said that the good news for St.Kitts [that there] was going to be another doctor who’ll be available to make house calls after the election because Labour was going to lose the election, and everybody thought I was nuts, and it turned out that I was correct,” Johnson, who has conducted polls in the Caribbean region for twenty three ( 23) years, stated.

He pointed out that his integrity in getting accurate results are more important than pleasing clients.

“The surveys that I do are accurate. If I was doing the same survey for Team Unity, I would still be coming up with the same results so it’s not a question of the questions are slanted towards my client of the results are slanted by my client. The results are the results regardless of who is paying my fee. My reputation is much more important than pleasing momentarily a client.”

Johnson went on to share: “One of the hardest things to do in keeping your integrity  is when you’re working for a client  and he says that we’re gonna win  and you have to look him in the eye and say ‘You know, the way things look now sir, you’re not  going to win. You just haven’t gotten your record across to the people.’ Telling a person they’re going to lose is very difficult but you have to. You don’t have to be nasty about it but you do have to be truthful.

In providing a results from his survey, he told: “Overall at this point, I’m projecting that Labour is ahead in seven seats. Having real challenges in two seats, and two seats are up for grabs.”

CADRES -via a January 2020 press release following its October 2019 survey- states: “The actual expression of voter preference on this occasion was 43% Team Unity; 32% Labour NRP and 24% Uncommitted, with 1% opting for another party/independent candidate. This would of course present a scenario where the Uncommitted vote was large enough to alter the course of the election; however, CADRES has consistently applied this vote along historic lines with considerable success regionally in terms of its projections. In this regard, CADRES is projecting a level of support for Team Unity of 54% which computes to a swing of 4% in Team Unity’s favour which we believe is sufficient for it to successfully defend all the seats it currently has and threaten one additional seat in St Kitts. This swing projection is statistically similar to that of 2018 suggesting that the political environment continues to be more favourable to Team Unity as this time.” 

In addressing leadership choice, Johnson said SKNLP leader Dr. Denzil L. Douglas (of Constituency Six) is preferred Over Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris (of Constituency Seven).

 “Let’s just take the eight constituencies, Dr. Douglas is significantly ahead of Timothy Harris in six of those constituencies. Harris is better perceived in one, and I guess you might imagine in Number Seven, he is better perceived than Dr. Douglas but in six of them, Dr. Douglas has a decided lead in terms over who they want to be Prime Minister and who would make the best prime minister, and one is sort of a toss-up and then the other one, Harris leads Douglas. So when I see figures that claim overall Harris is favoured over Douglas, I’m sorry, I just can’t believe those figures.”

According to CADRES: “The more significant political findings relate to leadership, with the leadership of Team Unity preferred over the alternative. 53% of people preferred the leadership of Team Unity, compared to 39% preferring the leadership of Labour/NRP. The movement regarding leadership within parties is also interesting as in 2018 the non-Douglas options in the Labour/NRP totalled 5%, while non-Harris options in Team Unity totalled 27%. On this occasion there has been considerable consolidation within Team Unity, with non-Harris options totalling 13%, while the situation within the Labour/NRP group remained the same. The other noteworthy observation relating to leadership is the fact that Harris leads at this time among Uncommitted voters as 29% of these persons said they would prefer to be led by him (Harris), while 22% opted for the leadership of Douglas. Therefore, Opposition Leader Douglas continues to trail PM Harris both in terms of committed and uncommitted support.”

In commenting on the CADRES survey conducted by Peter Wickham, Johnson bashed the correctness of the overall results.

“I happened to see the results of that poll. If you look at it, closely you’ll see he just interviews a hundred and eight (108) people in each constituency and the surveying that we did for Labour, we interviewed almost 300 people per constituency and when I see him calling constituencies on the basis of a sample size of a hundred and then to compare that with the virtually 300 that we do in each constituency, I just have to think that on the surface alone, a 300 sample is going to be more accurate.”

In underlining his point, he exampled conducting a survey down one lane and it happens to be just one family that is supported by Labour or Team Unity in that particular constituency.

“So I have a real problems of the methodology of just interviewing 100 people per constituency,” Johnson noted.