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#428057 01/16/12 10:17 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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With municipal elections and talks of early general elections this year,
the major topic in the streets is: who will be in the next government. A
survey conducted over the last five days by Karim Berjes and his team,
brings answers to most of the questions being asked we ask ourselves on our
way to the voting polls. This afternoon a press conference was held where
the survey was discussed. The survey was done by phone interviews, that
were exclusively made to home telephones and not cellular phones and a
couple of one on one interviews in Belize City only. The survey primarily
focused on the urban areas and a sample of people to represent each
district made the amount of participants in the survey amount to two
hundred and twenty three. The polls show that most agreed for general
elections to be held early, that means before the five year term ends, yet
they want it to be held after municipal elections. Yasmin Andrews, who
assisted in the survey explains the motivation behind the poll.

Yasmin Andrews - Pollster
"The poll is basically looking at perceptions, voting perceptions,
countrywide, whether people will vote for UDP, PUP, Independent and other
selected parties and secondly it serves like something like a report card
or the current status of the Government in operation at the moment versus
other factors of course. The two major questions, one of the major question
was which party will you vote for in the next general election regardless
of when it is called and the result show UDP 32.7% saying that they would
vote for the UDP whereas for the PUP 30%, that's a difference of only 2.7%.
That is within the margin of error of confidence integer plus or minus so
we could add five to it or we could subtract five to it. If you look at
the undecided it is 32.7%, that 32.7%ar people who have not decided to vote
for UDP, PUP or VIP, that 32.7% can go either way."

Other results showed that a majority of the sample said they were not
satisfied with the current Government, yet they don't want the opposition
to be the new government. Most were not satisfied with the current
government and believed their manifesto has not completely been realized.
The current government was rated to be better than the last by a slight


Marty #428092 01/17/12 08:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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Poll shows PUP/UDP Close, Voters Undecided

Twelve days ago the Independent launched a poll. It generated a lot of heat, but not much light. And that's because the sample was taken three months earlier. Some of the 40 questions seemed distinctly suspect, and the funding for the project was deliberately obscured.

But it did show an electorate that was largely undecided, as almost a third of the voters couldn't say if they would vote UDP or PUP. Tonight the news is that a new - smaller poll - executed last week, shows the very same thing.

This poll was commissioned by Karim Berges - a businessman who is the former national campaign manager for the UDP. And while his history leans towards the UDP - the polls do not. He told the media today he commissioned the telephone poll because he wanted a more accurate snapshot:..

Karim Berges, commissioned poll
"It's independently done by me. I on one hand, have been testing the electorates throughout the country. Wherever I go I ask various questions to partisan people; to none partisans; and just curiosity from shop to people on the streets; business people that I encounter and I've been pulsing the people for quite some time. And I've been estimating that the next general elections will be a bit too close to call. That was my impression. Nevertheless, I wanted a scientific analysis of it."

Jules Vasquez reporting
So for that he turned to Yasmin Andrews who did three polls previously.

Yasmin Andrews, design poll
"Our poll so far has been very credible, reliable, accurate and consistent because we just report what it is. Our own opinion and our own perspective have nothing to do with statistics or numbers. If I don't like you, I won't change the numbers that it's giving you. I will give you what it is. That's it. At the end of the day, it's our credibility that is at stake. But this is what we have, and these are the figures."

"What we are saying is as precise as we can, as fully objective as we can, as fully professional as we can without skew or any interest at all. We have done a lot of polls before, and over a time it has proven to be very accurate and reliable."

For this one, she sampled 233 voters by land line phone last week, Thursday to Saturday, and asked them 12 questions each. What she found surprised them:

Karim Berges
"This poll now, the results of it are as raw as they come. There is no tweak or touch to it."

And the results show an undecided electorate, and a razor thin margin between UDP and PUP.

When asked which party they will vote for in the next election, 32.7% of the voters said UDP, 30% said PUP - less than 3% which is within the margin of error. Most importantly 32.7% of the respondents said they were undecided.

When asked who they think will win the next general election, an equally thin 42.6% said UDP while 40% said PUP.

56.1% - more than half of the respondents said they are not satisfied with the government, but when asked if they would like the PUP to be in government, a stronger figure 67.7% said no.

A similar number 67.3% said their quality of life has not improved with the current government.

The poll numbers show an electorate that is undecided and generally unimpressed with the government but not at all ready to give the PUP a second chance.

Jules Vasquez
"You are a former functionary of the UDP and obviously your poll would be more sympathetic to the UDP."

Karim Berges
"We didn't design the numbers, we design the questions, as for my own purpose, to gauge the legitimacy of the people that I've been pulsing; for me to say partisan and sympathize with.... all I can tell you is no, I will not bring that to this analysis."

Yasmin Andrews
"Jules our previous polls have shown regardless of what the results, some people might be offended by it and some people might not. Some people might be skeptical and some are not and it is open to different judgments and perceptions and that's fine. That is expected. However, if you are talking about affiliation and whether it is sympathetic, apparently this is what it is. I don't think anyone would interpret it as being any otherwise, but people are entitled to their opinion, but I think it's very not so. It's just being very neutral, and what we present is the numbers we have."

As regards the question of whether they would like the election early, 61% - two thirds of the respondents said they would, but 73% - three quarters of them said they would not want it on the same day as the municipal elections.

Channel 7

Marty #428098 01/17/12 08:22 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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Poll says politicos are neck to neck

The results of another election poll were released today and it shows that the two main political parties are neck to neck if general elections are called. Two weeks ago Glenn Tillett of the Independent, teamed up with American Pollster, Greg Strimple, and released the findings of a poll which showed that at least thirty percent of the electorate is undecided about which party they will vote for in the next election. Well, those numbers are eerily close to the results of the new poll. Karim Berges, Former National Campaign Manager for the United Democratic Party along with statistician, Yasmine Andrews, who did a stint at the High Commission in London, surveyed two hundred and twenty-three electors. The survey of twelve questions was conducted via phone with voters randomly selected from the six districts. At a press briefing today, the team released their findings to the media, and like Strimple's poll, a chunk of the electorate remains undecided.

Yasmine Andrews, Technical Expert

"The two major questions of course, one of the major questions is 'which party will you vote for in the next general elections, regardless of when it is called? And the results show, U.D.P. thirty-two point seven percent saying that they would vote for the U.D.P., where as for the P.U.P. thirty percent that's a difference of only two point seven percent, so we can interpret that that's its very significantly close."

Jules Vasquez, 7News

"Is that within the margin of error?"

Yasmine Andrews

"Yes, sir that's within the margin of error of confidence integer plus or minus so we could add five to it or subtract five, whichever way. If you look at the undecided it's thirty-two point seven percent, that's people who have not decided not to vote for P.U.P., U.D.P., V.I.P. or any other selected party. That thirty point seven percent can go either ways but we are recording just responses of what we got. Now this is, 'who do you think?" very different from the first question, "who do you think will win the next general election? Based on perception, not individual but perception right? Again, consistency says U.D.P. forty-two point six percent and then P.U.P. forty point four percent, significant difference of only two percent, that means that within the margin of error, the five percent again, the five percent could go positively or it can go negatively, so that is consistent with the first question. Another factor here satisfaction level, "are you satisfied with the current government's performance level?" fifty-six point one percent said no, they are not satisfied with the current government. Forty-three percent said yes, this consistent with the first two questions that we ask, where we said will you vote P.U.P. or U.D.P. and the difference was only two percent margin plus or minus five so the results are very consistent. How would you rate the current government with the previous? From the responses that we got, we have the categories of "same, worse, better, do not know" The majority said better twenty-nine point six percent again very miniscule, worse twenty-two point four percent the same twenty-two point nine percent we are comparing present government with the previous, and again if you look at the category of do not know, it's consistent with undecided, it's huge twenty-five point one percent."

Channel 5

Marty #428610 01/21/12 08:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,392
Marty Offline OP
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Swing voters could be the key to victory in next elections, poll says

Swing voters are essential in determining the outcome of the upcoming general elections and any political party that wants to win would do well to gain their support, a recent political poll suggests.

According to former UDP campaign manager and businessman, Karim Berges, and Mathematician Yasmin Andrews, 32.7% of the 223 respondents, who were interviewed via telephone, are undecided and don't know for which party they would vote.

The large number of swing voters is further underscored as the poll places the United Democratic Party (UDP) ahead of the Peoples United Party (PUP) by a very slim margin, with 32.7 % saying they would vote UDP, while 30 % would vote PUP.

This 2.7% difference falls within the 5% margin of error; therefore, "It is a toss-up at this point and either party could triumph in the next election," Andrews explained.

Despite the large amount of swing voters, the poll also shows that so far only 1.8 % would vote for the independent candidates.

Berges and Andrews also reported that an overwhelming 67.3 % said their quality of life had not improved under the UDP, and 56.1% said they were not satisfied with the UDP government.

Compared to the previous PUP government, 29.6 % of the respondents felt the UDP had done better; 22.9% said they saw no improvement with the UDP over the PUP, while 22.4% said the UDP had done worse than the PUP. Some 25% of those interviewed had no opinion on the question.

Some 43.9% of those surveyed felt that the government had not kept is manifesto promises as compared to 23.8% who felt the UDP had fulfilled its promises. 31.8% were ambivalent and said they did not know.

Only 43% said they were satisfied with the UDP government, but some 56.1% said otherwise.

42.6% said they believe the UDP would win; 40.4% said the PUP would win at the polls, while only 17% favored the independent candidates.

Interestingly, 67.7% said they did not want the PUP in government, as compared to 31.8% who said "yes" to the PUP.

Regarding whether or not the government should call early elections, 61.4% said the would want early elections. 73.1 % said they don't want general elections on the same day as the municipal elections; 26.9% said that would work fine for them; 67.3% said they wanted general elections to be called after the municipal elections, and 31.8% said "no."

Andrews, who recently completed her masters in Statistics, said her sample size was enough to give a 95% degree of certainty of accurate correlation to the Belize population of more than 300,000 with a 5% margin of error.

Of the total number of respondents, 55 were from Andrews' native Cayo district, 54 were from the Belize district, 32 from Orange Walk district, 30 from the Corozal district, 26 from Stann Creek and 26 from Toledo. Andrews also admitted her sample population was skewed toward the urban population, because the poll was a line telephone survey.

The Reporter

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