Midway through its term in office, the coalition APNU/AFC Government’s approval rating has plummeted to a dismal 27%, according to the findings of the latest opinion poll conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA).
Sixty-four per cent of those polled disapprove of the Government’s performance, with 9% not giving an opinion. The approval ratings of the President and Prime Minister (PM) and of the Alliance For Change (AFC) party have also seen their numbers plunging.
This is a sharp reversal in fortunes for the President, PM, AFC and Government, which had high rating of around 60% right after coming into office in May 2015. But, as obtained from views of the public, it has been downhill in popularity ever since they awarded themselves a more than 50 per cent increase in salaries right after installation in office.
The Government, AFC, President, and PM have drawn poor marks for handling of the economy, corruption among their own, governance, race relations, and other matters.
Only 39% of respondents said they approve of the way David Granger has handled his job as president; 56% disapprove, and 5% did not give a rating.
For Moses Nagamootoo, 35% approve of his performance as Prime Minister, with 59% disapproving.
Supporters of the AFC and PPP are most disappointed with Nagamootoo. Voters said they had expected the PM would have spoken out against the many corruption scandals, blunders, and racist policies of the Government. But he has been silent; and worse, defending the indefensible.
The AFC has seen its support collapsing, with its approval rating now a mere 21% from a high of 80% in 2011.
Asked if the AFC has betrayed its principles, 71% answered in the affirmative, with 22% saying no. Asked if the AFC should leave the Government coalition, 59% answered said yes, with 32% saying no. Many said the AFC should seek to enforce the March 2015 Cummingsburg Accord.
Asked if people would trust (future) third parties, 62% said no, with only 27% saying yes, and 11% not giving an opinion.
The Government, AFC, President and PM have registered discontent even in their own base, because of broken promises. However, supporters of AFC and PPP still hold out hope that the PM and the AFC will reverse course in their behaviour and win back their approval.
Dr Vishnu Bisram