BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, APRIL 11TH, 2017 (PRESS SEC) — Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has high favourability ratings with the public, according to a poll that surveyed 506 registered voters in all 11 of the constituencies in St. Kitts and Nevis last month.
The poll found that Prime Minister Harris' skill at communicating his ideas and getting messages across to the people contributes to his popularity, along with several other factors.
Over 60 percent of registered voters who were surveyed gave Prime Minister Harris a good passing grade, said Mr. Don Anderson, a prominent pollster from Jamaica who conducted the privately commissioned poll.
"A significant number – at least one-third of all persons interviewed – felt that he was in fact doing a very good job," Mr. Anderson added.
Speaking over the weekend with the well-regarded pollster, the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister wanted to know: "What are some of the things the people who were surveyed referred to that factored into Prime Minister Harris' very high favourability ratings?"
Mr. Anderson, Executive Chairman of Market Research Services Limited, responded: "I'm not sure they were making reference to the town hall meetings [that Prime Minister Harris' Team Unity administration holds on a regular basis], but they spoke in terms of communication, which any government or any party has to look at as a key issue."
He added: "They were talking about his commitment to the people. They were talking about, clearly, the fact that he has addressed as the leader the whole question of the VAT issue and his recognition that this was something that he had to do [remove 17 percent VAT from food and other essential items, such as medicines] because people were basically encountering difficulties."
The prominent pollster further stated: "So a number of persons that responded to this poll saw him as a people person and, therefore, as someone who is concerned about the welfare of persons in St. Kitts and Nevis."
Mr. Don Anderson also said the majority of survey respondents expressed the view that Prime Minister Harris' administration ushered in an era of enhanced cooperation and relations between St. Kitts and Nevis, and this is one of the factors that accounts for Dr. Harris' popularity.
"One needs to mention that, what came up repeatedly in the survey was that, people felt he had done a fair amount to enhance the unity of St. Kitts and Nevis. So that's something that's very important to note," Mr. Anderson said.
Notably, Mr. Don Anderson correctly predicted the outcome of the last general election in St. Kitts and Nevis based on polling data.