The CADRES poll has been published, and what it appears to show is a growing dissaffection with the Barbados Labour Party (who lost 5.5 points) but no statistically significant growth in support for the DLP (growth of 1% in a poll with a margin of error of +-5%). While aguably Owen Arthur had better poll numbers than David Thompson, the overall impression that we on the Margin arrived at is that the upcoming election will result in a BLP victory but with a very low voter turnout and a much reduced margin of victory. (This is unless the DLP can galvanise public support or opinion)
The second conclusion that we arrived at is that whoever wins this election (B or D) will be vulnerable in five years time. The economy is currently relatively well run, but we are in the middle of (or possibly at the start of) an inflationary cycle. The IMF is warning of a global economic slowdown. The upshot of this is that tight times may be on the way in the medium term.
Whoever wins this election is likely to be considered to be “the best of a bad lot”, which makes now the ideal time to launch a serious third party. This party would have to aim not at the upcoming poll, but the one in five years time. It should be noted that it has been said that a week is a long time in politics, so the picture may change (and is likely to change) once the campaign machinery of both parties goes into high gear.
One thing is certain, it will be a very hard fought election campaign.