By RASHAD ROLLE
Principal journalist of the Tribune
The National Free Movement has commissioned an internal poll which it says shows Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis leading Liberal Progressive Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis in approval ratings.
According to a note obtained by The Tribune, Ragnar Research Partners conducted 400 interviews between July 1 and July 6 with live telephone operators and asked respondents whether they approved or disapproved of Dr Minnis and Mr Davis.
According to the poll results, 54% of Bahamians approve of Dr Minnis while 37% disapprove of him; 24% of Bahamians approve of Davis while 47% disapprove of him.
Twenty-nine percent of people strongly approve of Dr. Minnis; 24% do not approve of it so strongly; ten percent “don’t know”; 16% do not disapprove of it so strongly and 21% strongly disapprove of it, according to the results of the internal poll of the FNM.
Twelve percent strongly approve of Mr. Davis; 12 percent don’t approve of it so strongly; 29 percent don’t know; 19% don’t disapprove of it so strongly and 29% disapprove of it strongly.
Respondents who were more confident in the country’s response to COVID-19 were also asked: Dr Minnis and the FNM, or Mr Davis and the PLP. Forty-three percent said “definitely Minnis”; 12 percent said “probably Minnis”; 27 percent “don’t know”; six percent said “probably Davis”; and 12 percent said “definitely Davis,” according to the poll.
Pollsters said: “Quotas on age, gender, ethnicity and region were used to ensure a representative distribution. The study’s margin of error is five percent.
The poll comes as some members of the National Free Movement suspect that Dr Minnis will call an early election. Dr Minnis would be encouraged by the results of the internal poll and the FNM should put the leadership battle between him and Mr Davis at the forefront of their campaign. It is said that the party is planning a short but vigorous campaign.
No public poll relating to the upcoming elections has been published to date.
Joey Gaskins, senior partner at Open Current, a government research and public relations firm, said yesterday that, like with public polls, the methodology of internal party polls needs to be carefully considered.
“It is not because a poll is internal that it should not be trusted, although when an internal poll is published, it often comes with an agenda,” he said. he declares. “This is something to be particularly wary of if only certain questions and not the results in their entirety have been published. Confidence in a survey should be based on its methodology and on how representations are made about the results. survey based on this methodology.
The FNM has previously relied on polls from Ragnar Research Partners director Chris Perkins. A poll he conducted between November 29 and December 5, 2016 showed Bahamians disapproving of the direction the country was heading in at the time.
FiveThirtyEight, a well-known website that rates pollsters based on the historical accuracy and methodology of an organization’s polls, gave Ragnar Research Partners a B / C rating based on two polls conducted by society in America.
Nonetheless, M’Wale Rahming, head of Open Current’s sister company, Public Domain, a local market research and strategy firm, said he generally strives to collect samples larger than the 400 used for the recent FNM poll.
“Any survey is worth something as long as you state the methodology so that any reader of the survey can get the right things from it,” he said. “We’re reluctant to use a sample of 400 if this is something we need the margins to be more specific and you want to get as much detail as possible.
“Drawing conclusions at the national level from a survey of 400 randomly selected people could lead to conclusions that are not fully representative. The margin of error is five percent, which could result in a variation of ten points. If you have a ten point swing it could completely change what you are looking at. At Open Current, when we do a national survey, we try to make sure that we are using as robust a methodology as possible. With a representative sample of 400, for example, Grand Bahama only represents 15% of the population, so you would basically have about 60 people representing 50,000 people. This reduces the likelihood that you will find 60 people who adequately represent the Great Bahamians from East to West. Part of that 60 could be concentrated in one area and that could skew your results and looking at the margin of error for that subset you might not be as specific on the pitch as you would like, ”said M Rahming.
For his part, Mr. Gaskins said: “Any survey that we do for public release, we definitely aim to use a sample of 1,000. For us at Open Current, a survey of this nature can be very informative but we don’t would not consider it in our internal operations as decisive.At Open Current, we believe that polls with regard to government and politics in particular, is an important part of the democratic process.
A PLP spokesperson said: “This is a garbage survey with an unrepresentative sample conducted by foreign investigators – it does not reflect national sentiment. Bahamians are fed up with failed Minnis policies and the contempt of the people. The FNM lies about the ballot just as it lied about a fixed election date – just as it lies about not raising the little man’s taxes (yet). Lies are all they have left.