Rise United camp says poll showing Peter Phillips as preferred PNP candidate, is biased

by August 12th, 2019

Peter Bunting’s Rise United campaign is challenging the claim that People’s National Party PNP President Dr. Peter Phillips has a better chance of beating the Andrew Holness led Jamaica Labour Party in the next general election.

This after the findings of a recent poll conducted by Bill Johnson said Dr. Phillips had a better chance of beating the Prime Minister.

According to Mr. Johnson, who presented the findings at a One PNP press conference this morning, (August 12) when asked who they would vote for in a match up between Bunting and the Prime Minister, 36 per cent said they would vote for Holness, while 27 per cent said they would vote for Bunting.

The poll was carried out in 84 communities across Jamaica from August 2 to 4, and included 1008 people with past voting history split almost 50/50 across the party lines.

However Peter Bunting’s Rise United campaign has rejected Bill Johnson’s poll findings as biased and unreliable.

In a release this afternoon, the Rise United team said the poll is an attempt to confuse the public.

Citing a poll question, which asked “which of the two Peters has the most experience to be leader of the PNP?” Rise United Campaign Manager, Dr. Dayton Campbell said this question was leading and biased, as one does not need a poll to determine that Dr. Phillips’ decades in politics and three years as party leader, would give him more “experience” than Bunting.

Dr. Campbell said the issue is that, not withstanding his experience, Dr. Phillips is not seen as an effective leader.

He noted this is reflected in all polls over the last few years, including a poll done by the same Bill Johnson in march 2019.

In that poll, Mr. Johnson reportedly found that the Prime Minister’s favorability is higher than the Opposition Leader‘s, with 51% of respondents having rated the Prime Minister favourably, and 23 percent rating the Opposition Leader favourably.

The Rise United campaign said there is no credible explanation for this supposed turn around in Dr. Phillip’s poll ratings, given his consistently weak poll results over the last three years.

But pollster Bill Johnson sought to explain the findings by noting that favorability does not determine votes.