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Barbados 2013 Elections Looking Like a Dead Heat

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Barbados 2013 Elections Looking Like a Dead Heat

Barbados’ 2013 General Elections are heating up and a new poll suggests that the outcome on February 21st is simply too close to call and is looking like a dead heat.

This is what Totally Barbados has concluded from the Nation Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) poll published on Sunday February 17th, 2013.

It showed that the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) are in a statistical dead heat in this race for the government.

View the list of nominations for the 2013 Barbados Elections.

According to the poll, the BLP leads the DLP by a mere 3.4 per cent, an advantage seen as statistically insignificant given the poll’s margin of error.

The result however represented a dramatic improvement by the DLP in less than six months. Just last September a CADRES poll found that party was trailing the BLP by six per cent, so it has apparently narrowed that gap.

In spite of the DLP’s improvement, CADRES still predicted a victory for the BLP, albeit a narrow one. This was based on swing analysis done by its pollsters.

Political Scientist Peter Wickham, who leads the CADRES team, said it is coming down to the wire and that there are many marginal seats at stake.

One of the other notable findings of the poll was that DLP leader Freundel Stuart was leading BLP leader Owen Arthur, for the first time, as the man preferred by Barbadians to be Prime Minister.

The poll showed Mr. Stuart with an approval rating of 35.9 per cent, while Mr. Arthur’s was at 33 per cent.

Just a month ago CADRES had indicated that national support for Mr. Stuart stood at 23 per cent compared with Mr. Arthur’s rating of 39 per cent.

Both the DLP and BLP have been pressing ahead with their campaigns with nightly political meeting across the island.

The two parties have been holding at least two meetings per night, each trying to convince Barbadians that they are the better choice to lead the country at this time.

The only pause on the political trail came on February 13th Ash Wednesday, when the DLP and BLP suspended all campaigning in recognition of the religious holiday.

One of the main issues being dealt with on the platforms is the economic state of the country.

On that front, the DLP has argued that it has kept the country stable despite inheriting a heavily indebted economy just as the global recession kicked in.

The party has made much of its decision to maintain public sector jobs and social services, for the most part, in spite of the economic difficulties.

The BLP on the other hand has accused the DLP of economic mismanagement, pointing to the fact that Barbados has been downgraded several times by international rating agencies and its bonds now stand at junk status.

The party also contended that while no public sector jobs were lost, more than 16,000 people went home in the private sector.

View the list of nominations for the 2013 Barbados Elections.

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February 17th, 2013

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