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Most Jamaicans say PNP performance worse under Mark Golding's leadership - RJRGLEANER Don Anderson poll

Don Anderson
 
Jamaicans say the Opposition People's National Party's performance has worsened since Mark Golding took the helm from former President Dr. Peter Phillips.
 
The latest RJRGLEANER Don Anderson poll also shows that most Jamaicans think the new Opposition Leader is performing poorly in the job.
 
The survey was conducted islandwide from August 19 to September 3 among 1,003 Jamaicans. 
 
The People's National Party has been struggling in the polls from as far back as early 2019, resulting in Manchester Central Member of Parliament Peter Bunting challenging then leader Dr. Peter Phillips for leadership of the party in September that year.
 
Mr. Bunting lost the contest, but negative public perception continued to dog the PNP, culminating in a trouncing by the Jamaica Labour Party in last September's general election.
 
Dr. Phillips immediately announced he would be stepping aside, clearing the way for a new leader.
 
However, Pollster Don Anderson says the new leader, Mark Golding, has not helped perception of the PNP since the last poll was done in July 2020. 
 
According to the pollster, 19 per cent thought the performance of the PNP as an opposition was 'very poor' and 33 per cent said it was 'poor' - a combined negative of 52 percentage points or nine more than the last survey in July 2020. 
 
Eight per cent of respondents thought the PNP's performance was 'good' and only two per cent said it was 'very good', for a combined positive of 10 per cent.  
 
Mr. Anderson said the numbers show more people felt negatively towards the PNP and its performance than last year July. 
 
Mr. Golding's rating as Opposition Leader is similarly poor.
 
Last July, 46 per cent of those surveyed viewed Dr. Phillips' performance as 'poor' or 'very poor', 38 per cent as 'average' and 16 per cent as 'good' or 'very good'.
 
Mr. Anderson says Mr. Golding's numbers are worse with 14 per cent saying his performance is 'very poor' and 31 per cent saying it was 'poor', for a combined negative rating of 47 per cent. This negative rating is one per cent higher than that given to Dr. Phillips in July.  
 
But nine per cent considered Mr. Golding's performance as 'good' and two per cent said it was 'very good' - a combined positive rating of 11 per cent.
 
Best and worst performers
 
The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, also shows that most Jamaicans appear to be clueless about the work of the opposition spokespersons.
 
Fifty-four per cent of people interviewed were unable to say who they thought was the best performing opposition spokesperson.
 
Mr. Anderson said most of those who named a top performer, or 10 per cent, said it was Culture and Entertainment Spokesman Damian Crawford. He was followed by Lisa Hanna with eight per cent and Mark Golding also with eight percentage points. 
 
Last year when the poll was conducted, Peter Bunting had been voted as the best performing spokesperson at 22 per cent. Lisa Hanna had followed with 20 per cent, Fitz Jackson with 16 percentage points and Mark Golding with 14 per cent.  
 
Mr. Anderson said the fact that 54 per cent of people could not name a best performing opposition spokesperson is telling, considering almost 100 per cent of those asked last year could give an answer. 
 
Where worst performers were concerned in the current poll, Mr. Crawford also topped the list with four per cent of respondents giving his name, followed by Peter Bunting, Lisa Hanna, Anthony Hylton and Dr. Morais Guy.
 
Can conflicts be resolved?  
 
A majority of respondents to the RJRGLEANER Don Anderson poll said they did not believe the conflicts within the party can be resolved soon.
 
The party has been divided between the One PNP and Rise United camps since the bitter leadership challenge in September 2019 between Dr. Peter Phillips and Peter Bunting. 
 
Last July, almost eight out of 10 Jamaicans surveyed said they believed the party was still divided.
 
In recognition that people believed there is still disunity within the party, Mr. Anderson said a different question was asked this year. 
 
When respondents were asked if they think the PNP can can sort out its internal difficulties soon, 41 per cent said 'yes' while 59 per cent said 'no'.
 
According to Mr. Anderson, the figures show "the extent to which people feel that the People's National Party may be so disunited, it might be difficult for them to do so."
 
 


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