Too late

Wickham says DLP’s newest candidates don't stand a chance

Veteran political scientist and pollster Peter Wickham believes the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) will make mincemeat of the latest picks by the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) to contest the next general election.

The DLP announced over the weekend that former Member of Parliament for The City Patrick Todd would take on BLP leader Mia Mottley in St Michael North East for the seat she has held since 1994.

The ruling party also revealed that newcomer Kim Tudor, chief executive officer of the Barbados National Initiative for Service Excellence would challenge Ronald Toppin in St Michael North, while businessman George Connolly would go up against Kerrie Symmonds in St James Central.

However, with the election mere months away, Wickham today questioned the DLP’s thinking, arguing that it would be difficult for the electorate to take these candidates seriously, having thrown their hats in the ring at the eleventh hour.

“My main reaction is that at this late stage in the game the candidates are just filling up a space,” Wickham told Barbados TODAY.

“I don’t think that any candidate would want to wait until this late stage in the game to make themselves available. So I can only assume that the three candidates who have just thrown their names in are basically only offering themselves up as political cannon fodder. I can’t see the electorate taking any of them seriously, quite frankly,” he said.

Unlike Connolly and Tudor, Todd is no stranger to the political ring. He defeated Jeffrey Bostic of the BLP in The City in 2008, taking 55 per cent of the votes in a seat the BLP’s Billie Millie had held since 1971.

However, Bostic reversed the results in 2013, defeating Todd by 2,012 votes to 1,888 – 51.59 per cent.

As part of a makeover, the DLP announced last April it would replace Todd with former Deputy Chairman of the Rural Development Commission Henderson Williams, signalling that the former teacher would not be a candidate.

“Todd is most intriguing to me because he is facing off against the most formidable candidate in the Barbados Labour Party. He is the same persons that was rejected by the DLP in 1999 and then again in this election for The City. So to bring him then to St Michael North East suggests to me that they are not taking the fight to Mia in a serious way. They are obviously conceding that seat,” Wickham said.

The DLP St James Central branch has had its eyes on Connolly since last March, when it became clear that branch members were looking beyond George Hutson, who defeated Symmonds in 2008, but subsequently lost the seat to the same opponent by five percentage points in 2013.

It was at a branch meeting at Good Shepherd Primary School in Fitts Village, St James in early March last year that DLP stalwart and former Cabinet minister Keith Simmons shouted from the floor that he did not want Hutson to be the candidate in the election.

And while Connolly appeared to have been the clear favourite, he had faced relentless grilling from the faithful, who appeared to know little to nothing about his background.

However, just two days after his apparent coronation, Connolly had told Barbados TODAY he no longer planned to contest the election.

“I did consider [running for the DLP, but I] informed the constituency that same evening that I had no interest in contesting that or any other seat,” he had said in a terse email.

Tudor, on the other hand, is not known within political circles, and has spent most of her career in organizational development.

She will go up against Toppin, who has held the St Michael North seat for 24 years, defeating Francis Depeiza of the DLP by 2,506 votes to 2,322 in 2013, improving his performance over 2008, when he beat the same opponent by 2,494 votes to 2,374.

Still, Wickham believes both Connolly and Tudor could have been strong contenders had they been given more time to prepare.

“George Connolly is a businessman and seems to be a decent candidate. At any other time I would say that he would make a good candidate, and the same goes for Kim Tudor. But the fact that they are coming into it now demonstrates a lack of political wisdom that makes me question their seriousness,” Wickham said.

23 Responses to Too late

  1. Saga Boy January 23, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    This is what I don’t understand with this pollster. How does he expect anyone to think that he is being objective in any poll in Barbados when his views are always anti DLP? He lacks professionalism in this area.

    • MARIA Holder January 24, 2018 at 3:58 am

      What is anti-DLP? You Pro-DLPites real funny. Any third grader could draw Peter’s conclusion regardless of whether it was B or D now putting fwd candidates

    • harry turnover January 24, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      If he SEES the DLP has a HOPELESS bunch what is wrong WITH THAT ? that is in HIS opinion…..that is what he SEES
      In YOUR opinion you don’t SEE it that way.. NO ONE can tell what another SEES..ya FIDIOT
      Who therefore is YOU that think that YOUR opinion is right ?
      YOU lack COMMON SENSE in your comment.
      Go and get some smoke…all a dat SH8 talk in gine stop the BEES..people like wunna so should be MAROONED on the South Coast

  2. BIG SKY January 23, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    Peter calls a spade a spade and does not try to white wash or polish lies.He does a wonderful job and is not interested in fooling the public for hopes of a political future.

    • The Truth January 23, 2018 at 11:56 pm

      Truth be spoken

  3. Kevin January 24, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Didnt Mr Wickham previously write off James Paul and the said Todd of not standing a chance of winning?

  4. Committed Bajan January 24, 2018 at 2:30 am

    I don’t know what is anti DLP about what Wickham said. To me Todd has to take one for the team and the other two are sacrificial lambs.
    What kind of ruling party B or D does not have a full card mere months before a general election MUST be called?
    Begs me to think that they are not taking this election seriously or that they don’t think that they can win
    I’m going with the latter

    • MARIA Holder January 24, 2018 at 3:48 am

      They take the election seriously but do not take Barbadians seriously – they know the electorate is very fickle.

  5. Tony Webster January 24, 2018 at 6:14 am

    @Maria Holder; Big Sky; The Truth; Committed Bajan….and especially to Peter Wickham himself: Thank you! I too could see no good in the “dragging-foot strategy” …even if they have popped their campaign manager into focus and put their bus in gear…they obviously lack a full tank of gas.

    • 3rdsun January 24, 2018 at 9:28 am

      They are misssing Hartley Henry’s touch

  6. Carson C Cadogan January 24, 2018 at 6:26 am

    Is this the same man who predicted that the BLP would win 28 seats in the last general elections???

    Is this the same man who predicted that Stephenson King’s party would win a landslide victory in St. Lucia in 2011???

    Is this the same man who does not believe in the Bible???

    • Ernesta Catlyn January 24, 2018 at 8:47 am

      At least he is honest, and it is clear he is prepared to think beyond what was rammed down our throats/ and beaten (in some cases) into us as children. You claim to believe in the bible? Does your actions/life style reflect this? Or are you going along with how you were indoctrinated?

      • milli watt January 24, 2018 at 6:11 pm

        how (s)he could be honest

  7. Sheron Inniss January 24, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Not the Bs or Ds for me. I am disenchanted with both. I am voting for one of the other ones. I want real change and this two party system broke. I want new blood, so I am willing to give others a chance and pray to GOD it works for the better of Barbados.

    • TOMMY A January 24, 2018 at 10:23 am

      would be great if we can get at least thirty percent of the electorate.100% behind you sharon

  8. Greengiant January 24, 2018 at 7:57 am

    @ Sheron Inniss: I have to agree with you. After 2008 when we rejected the B L P at the polls, and again in 2013 they were rejected, I can’t see what has changed about them that we should turn to them again. The D L P have proven too that they’re void of ideas. Our development under the Arthur administration stalled, our dept increased consistently, and their model proved unsustainable. Unfortunately the D L P walked into a mess they did little or nothing to fix, they apparently felt the global situation would have relaxed in time, now time has ran out.

    The two party system is indeed broke, if they merge tomorrow morning, you could not get enough ideas between them to get us through this tough period furthermore out of it. We now need a totally new party leading or a coalition dominated by the newer parties. I shudder to think about a Barbados under either the
    B L P or D L P after elections this year.

  9. Hugh Greene January 24, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Peter Wickham calls himself a political analyst but he really is nothing but a lapdog for the BLP. People like him whose profession is to be impartial are frauds because their agenda is to lobby for their side and to impose their views onto JOE public. They care nothing for the good of the country and its people, if they can only find fault the opposition and not within their own ranks.
    People are fallible and they will make mistakes. THEY are not GODS nor are they JESUS nor THE ALMIGHTY FATHER.
    The thing that really makes me laugh about this whole BLP/DLP affair is that they all are part of the same fraternity and has family ties among themselves. When was the last time JOE public was invited or mingled with them? When did you see either of them in the rum socializing with the masses? When did either of them really connect with the people?
    We could sit down and argue about the good and bad either has done, but at the end of the day, JOE public still suffers. Those who voted for the BLP will benefit when the BLP win and those who suffers then are those who voted DLP. The same goes when the DLP wins and the cycle continues again and again. This is what is really bringing down the country because we are stuck in loop. We need to break free from these shackles and move on forward, looking forward for the betterment of the country as a whole. This way everyone benefits and I mean everyone.

  10. jrsmith January 24, 2018 at 10:38 am

    My take , have bajans ever consider the biggest political problem we have in Barbados , is not having any control of our useless politicians…. The only thing bajans vote for, is to secure the politicians jobs for 5 years and not being able to remove them although all of them are failures………………………
    What is going to be different at the up coming elections , nothing really but what’s scary, if the same government is return to office which I can see the possibility………………… This present government was in office 2 terms and for the nothing they have done , they had no real challenge from opposition politicians or the local voters …..
    Again for me they did what they like, when they like , they say what they like they like and just kept up the pressure on or people because our people are locked in , locked down same old ,same old all being help by our educators reminding our people of the past slave history as if all bajans has been implanted with a chip of the past……………………….
    My spin I would love to see (Mia )as our leader , we don’t need a Priminester we need a leader…. We need a manager to handle (Barbados LTD) but to be (Accountable ) to our people ………
    We the bajan voters need to be able to remove automatically from office any, (MPs) who is failing our people by the same vote which put them there , we need an act of parliament namely so the (Accountability Act 2018 ) we should never have in Barbados to put with what we have for a decade………………..

  11. jrsmith January 24, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Adding further who will consider with me the possibility of a (coalition government ), being forced upon our people , made up of a bunch of has been politicians who was part of all our yesterdays…………………………………..

  12. Alex Alleyne January 24, 2018 at 11:37 am


  13. Helicopter(8P) January 24, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Peter seems to be fair and reasonable in his conclusions but candidates have to bring progressive ideals and solutions to the table. Barbados has to have serious economic, infurstructural and social planning implemented for the next five years. How can we sustain those tasks; are the main issues! Whom so ever is contesting these seats must have a clear, positive outlook for those next five years in progressing the people and country.

  14. Jonathan Nurse January 24, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    You people are right. It is too late for Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to wait until he calls the election either in February or May this year. The Barbados Labour Party supporters are still waiting and now the Democratic Labour Party are also waiting too.

  15. Lorenzo January 24, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    CCC and Saga Boy this is the same Mr Wickham you Dems were praising in 2008 when he correctly forecasted a victory for the Dems,now he has forecasting victory for the
    bees you two have a problem,hyprocrites.Last Elections Mr Wickham never said anything about winning 28 seats,CCC so you are being dishonest but that is the way you operate,i hope you don,t go by the old lady whose light bill you did not pay in 2013.To Mr Wickham I say do your job as professionally as possible and ignore the Dems as your analysis coincides with the feelings on the ground


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