Alex Bruno: Special release of polling results
"The DLP would probably not hold on to the ruling majority in the government of Dominica if elections were held today." - Alex Bruno, CAPA.
Electoral politics is the vehicle of authority, and public opinion is the fuel for that vehicle. Election is a numbers game and the candidates who receive the most votes win; hence the need for constant monitoring of the numbers in the lead-up to general elections. Those numbers come from the people by way of their opinions, and in order to gauge partisan pre-elections strengths, voting trends are measured.
There are standard ways by which such information is gathered and this date back to 1824. It was George H. Gallop, a syndicated newspaper research analyst, who is to be credited for the scientific method of polling which is used in public opinion gathering in the modern era. Gallop correctly predicted President Roosevelt's election victory in the 1930s using a small representative sample-size approach to field survey; his method remains the benchmark of scientific market surveys.
Caribbean Agency for Political Advancement (CAPA) has the human resources with both the professional training and practical experience to conduct such public scientific surveys. The following analysis comes from our most recent field survey which sought to determine the electability of declared or presumptive political party candidates ahead of the 2019/2020 Dominica general elections. The substantive inquiry question, however, is whether the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) will continue to serve as the majority party in the government of Dominica if elections were held today. The survey was a random convenient quantitative exercise conducted from May 26 – June 16, 2019.
The rationale for releasing this particular set of results is tied to public demands for analysis of our findings. The figures for Vieille Case Constituency were selected for release because it is the constituency of the head of the government of Dominica and Parliamentary Representative, the Honorable Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. The poll questionnaire was presented in the following order:
Date: / / .
Age: 18 – 25 26 – 50 51 – 65 65 and over
Education: Elementary Secondary College University -
Employed: Yes No
Which political party candidate/representative is more in touch (on the ground) with the voters/people in your constituency?
Which political party candidate/representative will you vote for at the next general elections?
Which political party/candidate did you vote for at the last election?
Will the present economic uncertainty in Dominica influence your vote? Yes No
Are you registered to vote? Yes No
How likely are you to vote for candidates and/or political parties who offer money and valuable items like appliances? That is
not likely Very likely Somewhat likely
Will you vote at the next Dominica general elections? Yes No Not sure
How many people left your household/family for overseas following Hurricane Maria?
1 – 3 3 – 5 more than 5 No one left
How many of the family members who left have or planned to return, especially for elections? 1 – 3 3 – 5 none
How many Haitian nationals reside in your area
1 – 10 10 – 25 between 25 – 50 over 50
- How many Haitian nationals do you believe or know will or can vote at the next Dominica general elections in your area?
1 – 10 10 – 25 between 25 – 50 over 50
- Do you think that the present DLP government has performed well enough to convince you to vote them into office for a fifth consecutive 5-year term?
The Vieille Case Constituency comprises districts: U01 - LAHAUT, U02 - PENVILLE, U03 – LOWER PENVILLE, U04 – AMBAS, U05 – VIEILLE CASE and U06 – THIBAUD. The registered voters per district as of May 25 stand as follows: U01 – 92, U02 – 356, U03 – 370, U04 – 316, U05 – 583, U05 – 582 and U06 – 479 for a total of 2194 electors. Two political party candidates have been declared to contest the Vieille Case constituency; they are Clement Marcellin of the United Workers Party (UWP) and Roosevelt Skerrit of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP). Responses were therefore received in the name of those candidates and parties.
The standard sample size for scientific surveys, as designed by Gallop, is 1% of the electors, but we chose to poll 1.5% (33) of the electors in proportion to the electors per district(s). In response to the first question: which political party candidate/representative is more in touch (on the ground) with the voters/people in your constituency? 42% of the people think that Skerrit spends more time on the ground than his challenger (Marcellin) who, according to the opinions of 33% of respondents, is a bit less visible on the ground. 3% of respondents indicated that both Skerrit and Marcellin share equal time on the ground and 5% claimed that they have not seen any of the two major party candidates. The remaining 17% of respondents did not provide a response to this question.
Responses to question 2, which political party candidate/representative will you vote for at the next general elections, were as follows: Skerrit – 43.7%, Marcellin – 31.8%, remaining 24.5% of respondents - undecided. On question 3 (Which political party/candidate did you vote for at the last election?), based on the responses 66% of the votes were casted for Skerrit of the DLP, 22% for the UWP, 9% withheld information on how they voted and 3% of respondents did not vote in the last general election.
Responding to question 4, will the present economic uncertainty in Dominica influence your vote, 36.4% declare that the Dominica's economy does have a bearing on their vote, and 45.5% said no. 12.1% of respondents were undecided on that question while 6% remained neutral (50/50). 1% of respondents were unregistered and 12.1% did not disclose their registration status. On question 6, how likely are you to vote for candidates and/or political parties who offer money and valuable items like appliances, 94% of respondents say that there is not likelihood of this being the case while 6% declared that it is somewhat likely – if the price is right.
On the question as to whether respondents would indeed vote at the upcoming general elections, it was determined that 75.8 % are planning to vote. 15% said they will not vote and 9.2% were unsure about voting. Responses to questions 8, 9, 10 and 11 from this and any other published analysis are being withheld because of a strategic decision. On the final and main survey question, 'do you think that the present DLP government has performed well enough to convince you to vote them into office for a fifth consecutive 5-year term,' the overwhelming majority of respondents, which includes a percentage of those who declared that they will vote for the DLP at the upcoming elections, responded no.
These results were compiled from raw data and are being presented to the public for analysis. As stated previously, this decision was taken following keen public interest in CAPA's research methodology and other survey related concerns of, and interest in our latest work. Fourteen constituencies - Castle Bruce, Cottage, La Plaine, Mahaut, Morne Jaune, Petite Savanne, Portsmouth, Roseau Central, Roseau Valley, Salybia, St. Joseph, Vieille Case, Wesley and Soufriere - were polled with the statistical margin of error being 3.91% +/-. It is unlikely that further results be published because such is hardly ever done. This executive decision to release the figure for Vieille Case was taken in the interest of transparency and professional responsibility.
In an earlier statement to the media, we declared that the DLP would probably not hold on to the ruling majority in the government of Dominica if elections were held today. We still stand by this statement. Upon analysis of the responses, when the undecided numbers are taken into account, there does not appear to be sufficient committed votes in favor of DLP to ensure a win. The DLP did not accrue 50% favorability and over in any of the 14 constituencies which were surveyed.
The unemployment rate was astronomical (over 57% with youth unemployment even higher), and post-Maria migration is close to 1.7%. Money or big campaign spending did not poll as being a factor which would impact voting, and there seems to be this compelling attitude among respondents which speaks to government change and electoral reform. The third party factor is observed in only two constituencies, with the impact reaching double digits (12%) in favor of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) in one particular constituency.
What is most noteworthy, however, is the percentage of undecided voters which averaged 26.6% across the 14 constituencies surveyed. The undecided percentage was above 30% in at least four (4) constituencies and 20% and above in five (5) areas. There is strong indications that the undecided voters could tilt the balance of power in the upcoming Dominica general elections, because the trends are strongly in favour of the opposition United Workers Party (UWP). This position was arrived at because the average of undecided voters who stated that the DLP do not deserve another five (5) year term in office, across the 14 constituencies polled, is higher than 80%.
This research was commissioned and sponsored by parties with interest in electoral politics on the island of Dominica.
There is an air of anxiety and expectancy among the people, which if not properly manage, may lead to unintended results. Politicians and parties with interest in electoral politics on the island of Dominica should not take the mood of the Dominican electorates for change and reform for granted.
Credentials of the Survey Director
Alex Bruno earned a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a Master's degree in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 2015 and 2016 respectively, and is a member of Eta Delta Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science honorary society. Bruno is currently a Ph.D. student in Political Science at Florida International University (FIU) since the fall of 2017, and is an Adjunct Instructor of Political Science and Government at Palm Beach State College in Florida. Bruno has taught Introduction to Political Science and Government at the undergraduate level from the fall semester of 2017. Bruno is specializing in American Government and his area of research is on Anglo-Caribbean identities. This is the fourth political survey exercise which has been headed by Mr. Bruno since 2014.
Brief Business Profile
Caribbean Agency for Political Advancement (CAPA) is a specialist business concern with strong Caribbean identity and international political connectivity. Our work is intricately tied to Caribbean socio-political/electoral activities, and our area of specialty is in electoral strategies, campaign template designs, scientific surveys and election campaign management. CAPA is also equipped to provide general electoral consultancy and the full range of services with relations to elections, politics, political candidates' training, damage control, messaging, web design, social media management, professional graphic designs, social media platform creation, electoral campaign ground game, political debates, media preparedness, fan-base development, detection and elimination of electoral phishing (technology malware attempts), scripting of speeches, campaign event design and management, sourcing of campaign financing, general marketing, candidates' profile development, script/speech writing, coaching, electoral voter-list monitoring and management, the way to WIN elections and other general electoral requirements.
The business is structured on three main principles:
1 We aspire to achieve excellence and professionalism in our every endeavor and engagement(s) with Caribbean and world politics;
2 We see our role as being a model organization in the advancement of Caribbean and world politics;
3 We are guided by the grounding philosophy and integrity of electoral politics, but are very pragmatic in our approach to contemporary and future electoral political events.
The business which was established in 2015 and legally registered as an LLC with the government of Dominica in 2019 was developed to serve a growing need for professional Caribbean political relations. Our aim is to follow the trend of geo-political renaissance and to practice political fair-play to the best of our ability. If it is Caribbean politics, it is CAPA.
Alex Bruno, BA. MA.