By Special Correspondent
With our general elections just around the corner, on Monday 28th January, 2013 – a paid messenger of our main opposition delivered what he considers the latest opinion poll, which outlandishly favours them.
Peter Wickham, the Director of CADRES – a polling company out of Barbados said a poll he did last week shows an 11% swing in favour of the New National Party (NNP) heading into the February 19th general elections.
According to Wickham, the poll shows that most of the people polled do not want to see Tillman Thomas and his team remain at the head of the country and are instead ready to return power to the hands of Dr. Keith Mitchell and his New National Party.
Wickham says that the essence of his poll suggests that Grenadians are ready for a change of government. All of the other measures – Wickham says, are consistent with that and there is a very high focus on the cost of living, unemployment and the economy.
Cumulatively about 80% of the population has major concerns about these issues. On the question of leadership, Wickham says comparatively speaking, there is a greater interest in the leadership of Dr. Keith Mitchell as compared to Mr. Tillman Thomas.
Wickham quips that the general indicators show that Grenadians are ready (at this time) for a change of government but hastened to add that a day is a long time in politics and with general elections over two weeks away a lot can happen in that time.
But certainly if an election were to be held around the time of the poll (last week), that would have been the outcome.
Many people throughout the length and breadth of Grenada are asking who did Mr. Wickham poll as they cannot understand what are the chances of them not encountering him or his agents prior to its release.
Just Sunday last on the popular George Grant radio show, former Agriculture Minister in the Mitchell administration and senior party member of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) – Michael Baptiste declared that Peter Wickham (a hired pollster) was on his way to Grenada to deliver a poll that would say that the NNP is winning the election.
Interestingly, Mr. Baptiste said that the NNP has counted and tagged all their supporters with a green band around their hands, so when he (Wickham) arrived here to conduct a poll, it would be very easy for him to identify the NNP tagged supporters and give a result that would suit the NNP.
Baptiste reminded all that there is a silent majority in this country who understand and recognise that Dr. Mitchell has delivered chaos to the Grenadian people, and would not be ready to allow him back in office to continue the destruction that he started.
Anyone listening to Mr. Baptiste would not have been surprised by the declarations of Peter Wickham who concluded one of his local interviews saying that Dr. Mitchell will win comfortably.
Any sensible person will not be surprised that Wickham continues to chip away at the little to no credibility he has when one thinks that he was allegedly dismissed by a media house in Barbados for giving secret information to the U.S on some of his own clients.
This is what was stated by a Barbados local publication (Barbados Free Press) on Peter Wickham: “The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) sacked journalist and political analyst Peter Wickham on September 1st over the contents of a US Embassy cable released by WikiLeaks on August 30th, 2011”.
There is no difference between Wickham and Keith Mitchell – the two men have one thing in common: Squealing on others.
The same Wikileaks quoted the U.S Ambassador as stating that in a meeting with then Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, he engaged in bad-mouthing fellow Caricom leaders as Dr. Ralph Gonzalves of St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
Isn’t this the same Peter Wickham who in the 2008 general elections was bragging that a poll he conducted showed the NNP winning the elections when every sensible Grenadian knew that Keith Mitchell was facing sure defeat.
This man disappeared and did not come back before the public to explain the 11-4 whipping that the NNP received at the hands of Uncle Tilly and the NDC.
Some have already started to label Wickham as a push pollster.
According to Wikipedia: “A push poll is an interactive marketing technique, most commonly employed during political campaigning, in which an individual or organisation attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.
In a push poll, large numbers of respondents are contacted, and little or no effort is made to collect and analyze response data. Instead, the push poll is a form of telemarketing-based propaganda and rumour mongering, masquerading as a poll.
Push polls may rely on innuendo or knowledge gleaned from opposition research on an opponent. They are generally viewed as a form of negative campaigning. This tactic is commonly considered to undermine the democratic process as false or misleading information is provided about candidates.”
Grenadians, please do not forget that this is the same Peter Wickham who tried to tell our people that the NDC only stands a chance of winning the next general election if Peter David is allowed to lead the party.
Does this man have any credibility to be allowed to share any poll with our people?
Peter David could not bring out 300 people at his event at La Tante in St. David’s while thousands heeded the call of Uncle Tilly and assembled outside the Gas Station at Gouyave in St. John’s during the NDC split.
It would not be unreasonable to conclude that Peter Wickham could very well be the type of person who works for whom he thinks would pay him handsomely and says what they want him to say.
You be the judge.