Election Watch

Election Watch




60% give gov't positive rating
Observer/Stone Poll:
Observer/Stone Poll
Wednesday, September 11, 2002

A surprising 60 per cent of the electorate gave the government a positive rating for its performance only a month after 51 per cent had said that the ruling People's National Party (PNP) should be turfed out of office, according to the findings of the latest Observer/Stone polls.

At the same time, only half (51.2 per cent) of the people were positive in their assessment of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the country's parliamentary Opposition.

In the survey done in mid-August, from a sample of 1,202, Stone asked people to rate the performance of the government and the Opposition, ranging from "very good" to "very poor". The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent.

Only 8.4 per cent rated the PNP administration's performance as being in the top category, a dead heat with the eight per cent who similarly rank the JLP.

But where 19.5 per cent said that government's performance was "good", the JLP trailed, with only 15.8 per cent giving it that rating for its effectiveness as an Opposition.

Additionally, 32.2 per cent rated the government as having performed "not bad", while 27.4 per cent gave the JLP a similar rating.

The combined "very good", "good" and "not bad" categories, which Stone characterised as positive, the PNP government won support from 60.1 per cent, nine percentage points ahead of the JLP.

In a July survey, 51 per cent of the people had told Stone that they would like to see a change a government in the general election which Prime Minister P J Patterson is expected to announce in a matter of weeks. But that was an improvement on the 62 per cent who held that position last November.

In the latest poll, the negative rating of

In the latest poll, the negative rating of the two big parties was statistically equal: PNP -- 33.4 per cent; JLP -- 35.4 per cent. This is based on their combined ratings for "poor" and "very poor" performance.

In the case of the JLP, 26.1 per cent said it was poor as an effective Opposition, against 19.7 per cent who deemed the government poor.

But where 13.7 per cent said that government was "very poor", the figure was 9.3 per cent for the JLP.