Things not looking good for ruling party – Wickham
With just under two years to go before a general election is constitutionally due, the chances of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) regaining power are looking slim, according to political scientist and pollster Peter Wickham.
However, the head of Caribbean Development Research Services is warning that the DLP should not be written off because the situation could all change as the election drew closer.
Wickham, who over the years has correctly predicted the results of a number of elections both here and in the region, told Barbados TODAY that based on the last information he saw, the DLP was not in a good position.
In fact, Wickham, in assessing the governing party following its 61st annual conference over the weekend, said the party’s plea to residents to trust in it and that Government was doing what was necessary to bring about positive change in the economy did not resonate.
“I think the general understanding is that they are doing badly. The last poll I saw that was done by Systematic suggested that they were doing badly, but the fact of the matter is that a year before the 2013 election they were doing badly too. So you really don’t know what will happen, what they will pull out at the last minute. But for the time being I think they are doing horribly.
“The economic indicators are not good and they are relying on trust, where they are saying to people trust that in six weeks we will have sufficient foreign exchange to pull us out and trust all of these things, and I think that Barbadians, perhaps the trust for the DLP is at an all time low because we hear, each time they speak, we hear things over and over saying you are supposed to trust. I don’t know that I get excited,” Wickham said.
In relation to the party’s 61st annual conference over the weekend, Wickham said it was not as significant as it could have been since it came right after the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.
He argued while Prime Minister Freundel Stuart “said what he had to say” and what was expected of him on such an occasion, there was not a lot that Stuart could have said since he was not one to make policy pronouncements.
“You never really get any major policy announcements, and it comes right after the budget in which they all had an opportunity to speak and present, and I tend to think that the budget takes the sting out of speeches like that.
“So you tend to look forward to it less because he has just done the budget and you know that he spoke fairly extensively during that and you are not going to hear anything that hasn’t been said before,” Wickham explained.