Saturday, 13 March 2010

Opinion Polls- Smoke and Mirrors.

The Gibraltar Chronicle in its passive and inimical style today publishes an opinion poll and without analysis comes to the conclusion that the GSD win.

Leaving to one side that the poll is commissioned by a biased publication: 7 Days, which is a GSD party organ, the reality is that a true and proper reading of that poll (and assuming it was done scientifically, which is doubtful) the GSD do NOT win the poll. The winners with a massive 37.2% are the UNDECIDED who beat the GSD's 32.73% by nearly 5%.

What a sad indictment on the GSD Government. A government elected as recently as just over 2 years ago with the support of 50% of those voting have bored enough people and have been so unimpressive that their own support is so massively down! The odds are that the undecided will more likely vote against them than in their favour, but lets leave that argument to one side as it is speculative.

What a sad indictment on the GSLP/Lib Opposition that (if this poll is accurate) their support has fallen so massively since the last election. It has fallen in the face of a Government losing popularity. Their failure is so much greater than that of the GSD Government. If a Government is losing popularity, the normal result is that an Opposition party gains voters, but no, the gainers in this poll are the "UNDECIDED"!

The reality is that the GSLP/libs have always obtained about 40% of the votes in an election. it is very unlikely that they will have lost this core support, whatever the results of this poll say. The speculative conclusion one can come to is that the increase in the "UNDECIDED" is detrimental to the GSD and favours the GSLP/Libs.

What a sad indictment on the PDP. They cannot make any inroads even when both the GSD Government and the GSLP/Lib Opposition are losing popularity. Give up Keith! At least try smiling when you walk down the street and talk to people. You may not have realised it but you do need their vote. If you are ever to have a chance of gaining some more votes you need to get happy! I know "simpatia" is not the reason Caruana is Chief Minister (that was down to luck and a quirk in Gibraltar's political history when he was first elected) but do not follow his example you can be sure that being "simpatico" will get you some votes.

All in all, what a failure of our political classes. None of them can inspire enough confidence to get voters to decide who to vote for! They should all be ashamed of themselves. They are clearly living in a world of their own completely unconnected with the people of Gibraltar: debating in Parliament and in the press about nothing that interests voters and advertising policies that gain no votes.

The door is wide open for a new leader with new ideas to walk in and win an election. Is our youth so devoid of ideas and enthusiasm that no one will grab this chance? If that is the case the future is not good for Gibraltar politics ... and, you know what, a void (even a political void) is always filled... beware of the UK and Spain taking advantage of this emptiness!


  1. Plato says:

    Llanito World, your comments are accurate. However the party percentages although disgraceful with respect to the politicial parties are not so important. I fear that the GSD would get in again merely because 32% of the 440 peoples canvessed would prefer Peter Caruana as Chief Minister! Joe Bossano 8%,Fabian Picardo 6% and Keith Azzopardi 3%.

    Unfortunately here in Gibrlatar in the main people vote for leaders of parties. The leader carries their party along with them. As much as I want a change, I fear that the GSD will get in again unless people wake up, and become vociferous in their demands for information and accountability as is their right. New politicians have to appear as you rightly say in your last paragraph. Not necessarily youth but new individuals who are prepared to work hard for Gibraltarian. Not only for our political future and as well our economic and social wellbeing. Again as you point out, Spain and UK are waiting and watching and watching and waiting!

    I DO happen to know that there are several 'new' intelligent individuals contemplating this very issue and discussing the formation of new parties whether as single parties or union with existent ones .

  2. Plato says:

    I forgot. With the respect to the Chronicle's passive and inimical style, I refer to our previous posts. Maybe it should be renamed the Gibrlatar Chronicle 7 Days!!!!!!! At the very least an analysis much like the one you have presented. Verguenza!

  3. I do not disagree with your assessment that people vote for leaders so Caruana is still more popular but the other statistics are interesting if the political scene changes with newcomers.

  4. Plato says:

    I forgot to comment on the Chronicle's (passive and inimical) style. Jounalism not really. 'Que verguenza' more like it.

  5. Dear Llanito World

    It is a true and accurate statement to say that each time the former Deputy Chief Minsiter walking up or down Main Street (Keith Azzopardi)either he chooses to ignore the electorate and / or simply does not care other to listen to the sound of his own voice on GBC television. He has no policial spirit unlike Joe Bossano and Fabian Picardo who we see regularly in Main Street speaking and conversing with members of our community.
    As far as I am concerned Keith Azzopardi is just another Adolfo Canepa who will dissapear at the next general election.

  6. Plato says:

    In reply to anonymous above, I have no reason to disbelieve what you say about Keith Azzopardi. Having said this, shyness or whatever namely lack of charisma does not invalidate this person as a politician. I believe he is a gifted individual and from first hand knowledge can vouch for his common sense, practical approach to problems and non extremist views on issues. He is prepared to listen and strike a balance. Unlike Peter Caruana and possibly Joe Bosanno.

    He might not be Chief Minister material but he would certainly be an asset in a 'hung' Parliament. The problem we now have is that there are gifted individuals in our political arena and if they could come together it would be good for Gibraltar not the political football scenario. As long as we contemplate our political future in terms of football teams and matches, we will get nowhere.

  7. Just a short reply to Plato's belief that the poll result for Joe Bossano at 8% could ever be accurate ... this is a statistical impossibility. Based on actual past election results Joe Bossano's personal following must by far exceed 8%.

    Your argument certainly has force, however, in so much as Caruana remains popular but it is the UNDECIDED that will swing the election in one direction or another. You do not factor this into your assessment and the UNDECIDED are usually so because they are disillusioned by the party in government, so more are likely to vote for change.

    The primary point of this blog, however, was not to try and predetermine what the election result might be. It is to highlight the very sad state of affairs that the majority is UNDECIDED. This evidences a total disconnect between the people and the politicians. Who's fault is that? It can only be that of the politicians. They are not engendering interest by taking up policies that deal with issues affecting their electorate. They should all get out of their parliamentary ivory towers y ensuciarse las manos con la gente and find out what is wanted! After all they are the SERVANTS of the electorate not their MASTERS!

  8. Are the undecided majority those who have quietly resolved to boot out Caruana but are safely playing the political game of saying nothing?

    Or let's wait and see voters?

    Or is this poll reliable?

    Has Gibraltar become politically immature, apathetic or a self-satisfied majority?


    What Gibraltar needs is a few by-elections.

    It could really mix things up a little because it would allow people to seriously consider voting for individuals and not for parties. It might let people vote for single issue parties - single issues that might really show up both government and the opposition (a freedom of information party for example).

    Oh for the days when the Government had a majority of one. The days when one Minister with some cojones could have said "you know what Pete you let me run my department right or I'm resigning from your government/party". But what I am talking about , we don't have Ministers with cojones, we have Ministers (and some opposition members) who join up because its a great pay packet with low responsibility. But surely some of you must be pissed off and or thinking of making an exit? Why wait for the next general election - lets have a by.

    And the opposition ? Imagine if you were a disgruntled member of the opposition bench. Annoyed that you couldn't go forward as it appears the top job has already been allocated - yet half glad cause frankly your heart's not in it and your law firm pays you too much - why not stab all them in the back by resigning and causing a by - election (which they will promptly lose).

    Lastly...I see why have a new CEO at GBC,...a new one sorry I meant we have A ceo - the post having been created and filled before you can say "the-law-requires-you-to-open-a-vacancy-at-the-ETB-dumb-ass" .

  10. I wonder how the Liberal Party and the GSLP would have fared if appearing in the pool independently? What is your opinion?

  11. The GSLP/Libs are essentially one and the same. The Libs "piggyback" on the GSLP. The support is for the GSLP. It is unlikely that the Libs would feature much higher than the PDP if the poll treated them separately. In fairness this is no more than an educated guess!

  12. Dear Llanito World

    What about Danny Feetham? In 2003 he received more votes for a 3rd party than any other party contesting a general election. Credit to him. Picardo, Azzopardi, Feetham? I will put my money on Feetham.

  13. Plato says:
    Brown Cow welcome. Read my previous posts. I 've said the same albeit slightly different. We are talking about integrity, personal integrity. Unfortunately democratic deficit is not the only deficit that exists! Let's wait for Fred.

  14. Llanito World's reply to my question of how the GSLP and the Liberals would have fared if appearing separately in a Poll seems very far-fetched. If the electorate's support for the GSLP/Liberal Alliance is wholly GSLP party driven, how come we elected three out of three for the Liberals and only five out of eight for the GSLP? In my opinion the only sure way to overthrow the Caruana party is for the Liberals to present five candidates and the GSLP six candidates. This would dispel the erroneous believe that the Liberal Party and the GSLP are the same. The party label of the supporting candidates of any would-be Chief Minister has more appeal value than their political capacity. The GSD would have been elected in 1996 even with a Rock Ape as their last candidate. The Alliance's unsuccessful teams of the last election, had undoubtedly much more specific political weight than the GSD teams, in the opinion of most political obesrvers.

  15. Fred says:

    I absolutely love the idea of a couple of by-elections!!! If only!!!

    As people vote for individuals it might be an idea for some to present themselves to election as independents.

    Someone like Mr Picardo might even get more votes. I agree that he's a good chap, but he was dragged into silly actions recently, as we all know. However, this should not detract from his political ambitions.

    I am not sure what to make of Mr Feetham, perhaps too smooth for my liking.

    Mr Azzopardi needs to forget that he is an academic and engage more.

    We all agree: integrity and authenticity - the common touch, without being vulgar, and popular, without being populist.

    And one final point for LlanitoWorld: we've all being guilty of walking down the street without being "simpatico", and that probably includes you too. I don't want Mr Azzopardi to give-up because he has a right to be there, like we all do. The more that jump into the arena, the better it will be for our democracy.