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SURVEY: BVI heading wrong direction, residents want new party

A section of Tortola. (BVI News photo)

Majority of eligible voters in the British Virgin Islands currently have no political preference and believe the territory is heading in the ‘wrong direction’.

This was the finding of a Caribbean Development Research Services political survey conducted between February and March of this year among less than 700 respondents.

The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus five percent, classified 51 percent of respondents as ‘uncertain voters’ who do not support the governing National Democratic Party (NDP) or the opposing Virgin Islands Party (VIP).

Thirty percent of respondents identified the NDP as their preferred party while 14 percent favoured the VIP.

However, when questioned whether they desired a new party to enter the local political arena, the majority of respondents (41 percent) answered yes, while 24 percent believe current/traditional parties are adequate.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents prefered not to say whether they desired a new party.

BVI heading in wrong direction

While a commanding percentage of residents that support a traditional political party prefer the governing NDP, 48 percent of all respondents still believe the BVI is heading in the ‘wrong direction’.

Twenty-four percent think the territory is moving in the right direction.

Notably, the survey showed that NDP supporters were less inclined to think that the BVI was on the wrong track while with VIP supporters were more inclined to think this way.

The majority of persons who were either unsure of their political preference, would not disclose their political affiliation, or said they do not plan to vote during general elections also believe the BVI is heading in the wrong direction.

The Caribbean Development Research Services, which is also called CADRES, is a research organisation based in Barbados. Over the years, it has conducted polls in several countries across the region.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

36 Comments

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  1. oh yeah says:

    With this kind of data them cr—ks sure to get back in if another viable party does not come forward.

  2. LOL says:

    Didnt realize bvinews had a comedy section.

  3. Hmmmmm says:

    If you think BVI people will be telling you who they support politically then think again. The VIP is over 40 yrs old and NDP is 19 yrs old. New party again? Lets see who have money to waste this time around. The real questions to respondents shouldve been “What qualities do you think defines a ‘good’ government?” and “what is considered the ‘right’ direction for the Territory?”..

    • david says:

      dr. smith is the only sane person who can lead us forward without suffering from ego. arrogance and with a cool head. opposition is bad really bad. just a set of bad mouths

  4. Albion says:

    That’s interesting. I would guess that most people like the idea of a new party because they are very disillusioned with today’s politicians.

    But it is unlikely that any new party would be made up of new politicians – most likely it would be made up of the same old politicians with new allegiances.

    Our problem is that we have a rotten political culture. And there is no quick fix for that.

  5. Albion (2) says:

    The other thing that is really interesting from the graph is that as unpopular as the NDP is right now, it is still more than *twice* as popular as VIP. That has to be some really worrying news for Andrew Fahie.

    It is still a long time to the next election, but it suggests VIP could possibly be in for another landslide defeat. Which would be amazing given the levels of discontent with Government right now.

    • NDP Comedy Hour says:

      Talk about fake news!!! We will see at the polls!!!

    • Stupes says:

      The interesting words are “right now”. However, I could see people asking for new blood to come forward because both VIP and NDP have proven records, as we get something for looooots of money from one and nothing for loooooooots of money from the other.

  6. Quota says:

    What were the characteristics of the survey? How many were indigenous BVIlanders, demographics, etc? A survey with under 700 respondents in a territory that has over 30,000 residents is insignificant. The territory is very small and need not be in this current state but when greed mixes with power nothing good can result. There is no reason, regardless of the party in power, why these little islands cannot be 5-10 star in class but where there is no vision the people perish!

    • Hah says:

      This survey will not cause anyone to lose sleep, perhaps 5000 would be cause to stir a tiny little bit. It is definitely a time for a change in government. Two terms and the NDP have not earned their paychecks. Not only did they broke most of their promises and the government’s piggy banks they became erratic and useless. The constituents are to blame for what NDP has become because instead of punishing them for a lackluster performance during their first term they were rewarded overwhelmingly and got bigheaded into thinking that the people will love them unconditionally despite their actions. Realistically what can the NDP campaign positively about without playing us for fools?
      Re-electing NDP would be like staying with a very abusive husband.

    • Which One says:

      This is why it is called a ‘representative sample’. It is supposed to be a cross-section of the population.

    • New figures says:

      The population is 43,000 post Irma and Maria.

      30,000 is old data.

    • watcher says:

      Actually if it was voters it is a huge section of them. There may be 30,000 people in BVi but only about 9000 are belongers and of those a third are probably under voting age or not here.

      One in 5 control our destiny but it is the the other 4 out f five who pay most of the tax.

      No taxation without representation.

  7. SMH says:

    CARTT ALLL AH AYO BROATHA!!….. I KNOW AYO REMEMBER THE LANDSLIDE NDP WIN BY ALTHOUGH MUCH WAS SAID ABOUT THEM THIEVING THE MONEY….. NOW THEM WAN COMPLAIN….. AYO COULDN’T SEE THE PLOT WITH STARTING EVERYTHING RIGHT BEFORE THE LAST ELECTION THEN CALLING THE ELECTION EARLY…… OBVIOUSLY, PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO SEE THE PROJECTS FINISHED. THEY PLAY THE WHOLE BVI…. YALL FOOLS

  8. Opinion says:

    Both VIP and NDP are putting voters in closed corner to choose which party you prefer to be disappointed by. I honestly would give a new party a chance to run hoping for a better chance for the country. Options are really low and the bvi is desperate for a better change. Question is “how bad can the bvi really afford to go before reaching a third world country before the people stand up and fight for what they want and stop politians from doing as they please.

  9. E. Leonard says:

    Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) is probably a reputable organization but the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election should cause us to exercise great caution in embracing polls/survey projections. What is the level of confidence in this survey? The BVI is a small bedroom community (where everyone knows everyone relatively) with strong political patronage. Consequently, how reliable are the responses of residents being surveyed? What is the value, if any, of the released data? Is a new party the panacea for putting the BVI on a sustainable course?

    An ABC, XYZ, LMN or any other alphabet soup party is not the magical solution to putting the BVI on a sustainable course. Changing governments or forming new parties may not be what is needed to lead the territory out of crisis. It needs men and women who are committed and willing to sacrifice to put public interest over self interest. It needs a national development plan that is approved by voters and codified, implemented and executed by HOA and government. It needs plans, programmes……..etc to execute the national development plan.

    Continuing, it needs structural adjustments to sustain and improve the current standard of living and quality of life that residents have grown accustomed to. It needs transparency, accountability, effective/good governance…………etc. It needs active community engagement. It needs a united territory where everyone is pitching in and pulling the wagon. It needs all hands on deck and working.

    Moreover, the electorate must play a key role in the economic growth, development and sustainability of the territory; it must stay fully engaged. Racing to the polls on Election Day is the start of the engagement process. The people has the power to guide the country on a prudent course, journey; take control and use it. Make it happen.

    • RealPol says:

      @E. Leonard, real talk. Lots of meat to flesh out a framework for the way forward. The BVI is in crisis and needs strong and effective leadership to lead out of crisis. The survey results show that many are of the opinion that the territory is on the wrong track but what actions are needed to put the territory on the right. It is easy to claim that the territory is on the wrong track yet another to put it on the right track.

  10. WHO? says:

    It said majority of voters>>>> How many of you did the survey. These things are strategically planned to manipulate… I smell a rat and it smell RED, WHITE & BLUE…

  11. Cromwell says:

    It’s probably time for someone to say what really needs to be said, some people will agree and others will not.
    The BVI’s problem is not just the government be they NDP or VIP, it’s the underlying discriminatory and protectionist society that the island, has, and, continues operate under regardless of which party is in power. The department of labour should be closed down if you want the island to survive, if a job is available allow the best qualified individuals to come in if necessary rather than force employers to hire a BV islander. Think it through, if a local person can only find employment by being given an unfair advantage, what does that say for the BV islanders as a race of people, does the government think that low of their own people. Protectionism is placing a band aid on the problem as against fixing it, open the island up to internationally qualified people, school teachers, doctors and qualified professionals that would have built the hospital and Pier Park without cost over runs. Armed with such professionals we might attract corporate investment as against the odd wealthy individual that is generally too narrowly focused. Tourism has to be our main attraction in years to come and corporate investment is what’s really required for that to be successful on the scale we need.
    No major investment will come to these islands under the current modus operandi, and without such investment these islands will sink.

    • Albion says:

      But it does not matter if you are right or wrong – any politician who proposes what you suggest will be voted out of office immediately. This is why things will never change, and we are forever stuck in the same rotten loop.

    • Interesting! says:

      “Come in” from where. Which other country practice that? The BVI need a succession plan similar to Cayman and Bermuda whereby BVI belongers understudy those who are brought in on work permits. The same individuals should not be granted permits for umpteen of years. That is the BVI’s biggest problem. BVI belongers train a lot of people on work permits then they are replaced for cheaper labour, so you are correct in that Labour needs to close down.

    • Interesting! says:

      Who knows for certain that “internationally qualified people….” would “have built the hospital and Pier Park without cost over runs”… How on earth could anyone be absolutely certain of that??? What man in his right mind gives his money to others to squander? Every building and project has some type of over run. However, I am not saying that this justifies what may have happened with the Pier Park project, but if protocols and policies are adhered to those things could be kept at a minimum, so those responsible must see to it that this happens at all cost.

    • Jono says:

      Well said.
      One correction though.

      ” and without such investment these islands will sink.”

      Are sinking would be more correct.

  12. Empty Vessel says:

    The average, middle, low to poor income people of the VI’s are the one’s heading in the wrong direction.

    They are seeing two separate segregated societies growing on their islands, and many know the awful history of its practitioners.

    They have been sold out by the VIP decades ago to an indefinite future of non salary growth and stagnant wages, and billionaire profits for the segregationist and others.

    No matter how many dislike the truth, because it is true, the “man” has always ripped off the African in the BVI and around the world, and will continue to do so, aided by sophisticated enlightened egoist who pretend to be every thing good, a good citizen,loyal to country and friend, an honest client, but only to get ahead in politics and business.

    That, from a BVIslander, is the final analysis of the VIP after sixty years and now the newest mistake makers, causing no shift in direction laid out decades ago in accommodating the “man” with money.

    The BVIslanders are living the historic consequences of egoist for self enrichment in every aspect of life, but especially in the pocket and upper salary posts advancement..

  13. Please! says:

    Who ever commissioned the survey got the results they wanted!!! Hilarious

  14. scam says:

    govt is the propblem. all of them

  15. Diplomat says:

    What did this survey contribute to the political discourse in the BVI? Well, it concluded that a plurality of residents in a territory where the population is approximately 70-30 expat and local, respectively, a plurality of residents lean on the ruling party, a pluraitty of residents expressed a hunger for a third party and a pluarilty of residents still not sold on the opposition party. How real it is that BVI residents will tell pollsters the truth?

    The party system is an anachronism that often transforms into two party partisanship. We put too much credence into parties. It is not about the alphabet soup acronym but rather about the commitment, trust, civility, humility, experience, ability, knowledge, problem solving skills, skill sets, outcomes……..etc in the parties. Parties in the BVI work with the same limited resources.

    Thus, we should elect people who have a demonstrated the commitment and ability to optimize limited resources. Has anyone seen the NDP, VIP, PEP, UP…….etc doing anything. No. It is about the people in the party. Popularity, old talk……..etc is not enough to yield positive outcomes. We need to elect people who can get the most for the majotity of people from limited resources.

  16. SMDH says:

    Another attempt by NDP through a back door to try to fool us again in voting for them but it will not work.

  17. VILander says:

    New party with the same old people? What sense does that make?

  18. Lordie says:

    All I would like to see is a group who is really for the people and stop thieving our tax paying dollars. NDP is full of crooks.

  19. Reflection says:

    Most democratic governments are a reflection of their electorate. To the extent we elect officials to benefit ourselves individually we will see our politicians benefiting themselves individually. As a society we need to think about others first and elect officials that will consequently think about the electorate first.

    Although not surveyed, I do fit into the same general categories as the data suggests; namely, undecided, not trusting of either party, and wanting to see new politicians that will put the electorate first.

  20. Hmmm says:

    Another NDP prank

  21. voiceofthevoiceless says:

    Nothing to be alarmed about if you are either party. Well at least you have an idea where you are at this point in time. This is a Marathon not a sprint. For now we are sure of 1 VIP member on their slate so it is hard for anyone unless they are a diehard VIP to say unequivocally that I will vote for the VIP. More meat on the bones is needed meaning more candidates to full up the slate so people can weigh their alternatives and until that happens some of the undecideds would remain undecided.

    This is a change election and the people are looking for change but it must be attractive or they may well settle for the incumbent or not vote at all. The Incumbent also have money and the power to enact and enforce policies that can influence the vote and we must be wry of that. Some of the undecideds are just selfish people looking out for what they can get in exchange for a vote. We the people created this system and the Politicians just revel in it.

    I urge people to consider Country over self and Party in these critical times. We cannot afford to get this one wrong.

  22. Lb says:

    41% is a majority??? Roflmao!

  23. A says:

    been this way for a while. how long the greenhouses should have been used for producing food for the country, now all of a sudden pickering talking about greenhouse looking at jamaica and other countries who have agriculture as a means of revenue. struppes a— backward. the should have been done a long time ago and stop bringing food that is poisoning our country.

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