Craig Cannonier *File photo
Craig Cannonier *File photo

Nearly two-thirds of residents in a new survey reckon Craig Cannonier’s OBA Government is doing a good job.

And only about one in six people polled (15 per cent) are dissatisfied with the new government.

But a slight east-west divide on satisfaction with the new OBA Government has opened up, according to the latest Bermuda Omnibus Survey.

The poll of 400 people across the island showed that people in the west end were happier with the new administration than those in the east end.

A total of 79 per cent of residents surveyed in Sandys and Southampton gave the Government the thumbs up, compared to 58 per cent in the Hamilton, Smith’s and St George’s parishes.

Businessman Peter Everson, who also sits on the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce economics committee, but who stressed he was speaking in a private capacity, said that the difference in views between the west and the east of the island on happiness with the new Government probably reflected the spending priorities of the previous PLP Government.

He said of the east end: “It’s nonsensical they returned any PLP MPs at the last election as they took money out of St George’s and shovelled it into the west end.”

He added the west had got a new sewage treatment plant, while St George would have to wait to see if a hotel development offered a facility the town could hook up to.

And he said that St George’s had also lost the economic lifeline of cruise ships, while Dockyard had expanded to cope with larger ships.

But Mr Everson added that any new administration could expect a honeymoon period.

He said: “Where there is a change, they always get a large amount of goodwill and they hope for a better future.

“The reality is that the new Government can’t do much in the opening six months because they have to find out what the issues are.”

And he predicted it would be “at least 18 months” before a clear picture of public opinion on the OBA administration emerged.

Bermuda College senior economics lecturer Craig Simmons said that the random nature of a survey meant results like support for the OBA in the west, which voted largely PLP, and lack of it in the east, where the OBA almost swept the board in St George’s, had to be treated with caution.

Mr Simmons added: “The PLP did not get the support from its members as they might have hoped. 

“That suggests there might have been a switch in the western parishes.” n

This story is based on commissioned results for the Bermuda Sun from the latest Bermuda Omnibus Survey©, a syndicated quarterly survey of Bermuda residents. The survey consisted of telephone interviews with a representative sample of 400 Bermuda residents conducted March 14-27, 2013. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percent in 19 out of 20 samples. Running in its sixteenth year, the Bermuda Omnibus© is conducted quarterly to provide subscribers with ongoing insight and market intelligence on the Bermuda population, covering important issues on the public agenda, economic mood, consumer and lifestyle trends, Government policy, international business, and politics, among other topics.