An online analysis conducted by the Belize Independent Development Research Group (BIDRG) recently compiled information with the sole aim of getting an idea on the Belize electorate’s state of mind leading up to the General Elections. The survey was conducted from Saturday, August 1st to Saturday, August 8th and had the participation of one thousand online visitors. The analysis indicated that if elections were held today, more people would vote for United Democratic Party (UDP), but up to 52% of the electorates would abstain from taking part in the general elections. The survey participants had to answer nine multiple choice questions with reference to the party leaders of both parties, as well as the performance of the current administration.
The survey asks in its first question: Would you rate your chances of voting in the upcoming general elections as excellent, good, fair or poor. While the majority chose “excellent”, there was still 18% who would not participate in the upcoming general elections. Surveyees were then asked if they think the country is headed in the right direction or not. An outstanding 55% of the participants responded that we are on the wrong track and headed for trouble. 17% were undecided, with only 28% believing we are going the right direction.
According to the survey, the leading problems facing Belize today are economy, jobs, cost of living and politicians’/government corruption and ethics, which gathered 36% and 30% of votes, respectfully. 55% of persons surveyed believe a new Prime Minister should be elected, as surveyors believe Dean Barrow has not done a good job in the position. However, in the fifth question of the survey 27.19% would still opt to vote for Dean Barrow and the UDP if elections were held today, while only 17.52% were in favor of Francis Fonseca and the PUP.
Question number six reflected on the importance of a party’s leader: “Is the person who is the leader of a political party important in making your decision to support that party in an election?” 64.88% of surveyees agreed that a party leader is important when deciding which party to support. In view of a party leader playing a big role in convincing voters the next question asked the poll –takers what was their view of Dean Barrow as a leader of the UDP. 25.58% stated he is very favorable as leader, while 23.67% stated he is very unfavorable. The remaining surveyees were undecided.
The eighth question asked participants what was their view of Francis Fonseca as a leader of the PUP. 34.38% of the polls deemed Fonseca as a leader of the PUP very unfavorable, while 10.79% believe him to be very favorable.
The last question shed some light for the alternative/third party to have a larger shot at a general election. The question asked; “If a credible alternative/third party existed, would you actively consider supporting such a party instead of the UDP or PUP?” 38.53% stating that they would “definitely” consider supporting it while 40.04% opted for “probably” considering giving their support to a third party. Only 21.43% would “not” consider.
This survey was the first in a series of planned, independent polls to check the pulse of the Belizean electorate over the course of the next few months, as the country approaches its most important General Elections ever. The results and analysis provided are authentic and directly reflect the aggregate views of the 1,000 persons who participated in the survey on an online web portal. The campaign was launched through a link dispersed on Facebook, Whatsapp and by email. During the survey, only one response was allowed per computer or device and input was totally anonymous.
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