Pollster Bill Johnson and K.D. Knight
A recent poll commissioned by People's National Party President Dr. Peter Phillips's One PNP camp is showing that 46 per cent of Jamaicans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.
Thirty per cent of those interviewed said the country is heading in the right direction, while 24 per cent said they did not know.
Pollster Bill Johnson said this is a bad sign for the Jamaica Labour Party based on a trend he has noticed in previous polls where if more people say they are displeased with the direction of the country, the incumbent party is voted out when the election is called.
"In 2007, right before the election in August, 28 per cent said the country was going in the right direction, 54 per cent said it was going in the wrong direction. You may recall, the PNP lost. In 2011, a week before the election, we asked the same question: 27 per cent said the country was going in the right, 54 per cent said it was going in the wrong direction. The JLP lost. In February of 2016, we asked the same question: 28 per cent said the country was going in the right direction, 55 per cent said it was going in the wrong direction," he outlined.
In the meantime, Mr. Johnson said the survey also shows that 41 per cent of Jamaicans said their financial situation has remained the same, while 26 per cent said things are getting better.
He said 31 per cent said their financial situation is getting worse.
"Seventy-five per cent of the people are either treading water or slowly sinking on the basis of this. That is not a good sign for an incumbent government to have that many people treading water, trying to survive," he warned.
The survey was conducted across 84 communities islandwide between August 2 and 4.
It had a sample size of 1,008 people with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent.
The survey has also shown that 62 per cent of Jamaicans believe crime and violence are the most pressing problems facing Jamaica.
Another 22 per cent said unemployment is the most pressing problem while five per cent said corruption.
Mr. Johnson said more people are concerned about corruption than in previous polls he conducted over the years. He noted that the usual mark for corruption has never been more than one per cent.
"We've hit a point where I think people are really concerned about corruption.... A lot of people feel that Holness is not doing enough about corruption. I would wager if we do another poll in another couple of months, you're gonna see that five per cent is probably doubled," he said.
Bunting camp mistaken
Meanwhile, K.D. Knight, a member of the One PNP camp, said Peter Bunting's Rise United camp is mistaken in its stance that Mr. Bunting can lead the PNP to victory in the next general election.
"Our position has been very clear. Based upon experience, based upon integrity, based upon performance and based upon vision, Peter David Phillips is clearly the only one who can boast of that. The other candidate cannot," he asserted.
Results of the One PNP commissioned poll showed that 34 per cent of those interviewed said they would vote for the Jamaica Labour Party while 32 per cent would vote for the PNP with Dr. Peter Phillips as leader.
This is in contrast to the results of a poll released last week by the Rise United camp, which showed 36 per cent of Jamaicans believe the PNP under Mr. Bunting's leadership stands a better chance of defeating the JLP in the next election compared to 16 per cent who believe Dr. Phillips has a better chance.