Poll Shows Bainimarama Well Ahead

The most intriguing event of the week was the announcement of poll results conducted in the week until February 21 by CJP Pacific/Razor market research that showed the PM to be so well ahead of all others for preferred PM that, had it been a horse race, all the others would have been labelled "also ran" and in an election they'd have risked losing their deposits.

The poll, which will be conducted weekly until the elections, comprised a sample of 600 eligible voters, 300 from the Central Division, 200 from the West and 100 from the North. Those interviewed  were "ordinary people passing through bus stations to get a range of opinion from both urban commuters and from people travelling into town from rural areas."

There's little doubt the methodology and results of the poll will be questioned by Bainimarama's opponents but the results are remarkably close to those to those of the 2011 Tebbutt Research poll conducted for the Australian think-tank, the Lowy Institute, that found 66% of Fijians thought that the Prime Minister was doing a good job.

I have had considerable experience in drafting, conducting and evaluating surveys in Fiji and think the CJP methodology adequate to the task except that I would have preferred a somewhat larger sample size and a margin of error. Not that in this first poll a margin of error would have meant anything.  My main reservation is that survey results in Fiji are influenced by the age, sex and ethnicity, not just of those interviewed but also by those conducting the interviews.  This was found to be especially true on "sensitive" issues. My research found that men and women answers on rape differed with the sex of the interviewer, and iTaueki, Indo-Fijian and Other Ethnic answers on ethnic balance in the RFMF differed with the  ethnicity of the interviewer.

CJP may not be free to show the poll results by ethnicity. Government seems to have ruled that national statistics should not reveal ethnicity. This means that airport arrivals and departures and census results no longer reveal ethnicity, making them much less useful for analytical and monitoring purposes. But this should not prevent CJP from asking the age, sex and ethnicity of those interviewed and then conducting an internal check to see whether they affected the results.

Firkins Follies
Not to be outdone, Fiji Today publisher and Government critic "Peter Firkins" conducted his own admittedly unscientific poll.  His business takes him around Fiji. He asked 432 people during February "how Fiji is going?" Some  47% supported "Frank and what he is doing"; 8% supported the FLP, 34% SODELPA, 4% another party, 6% were not willing to say and 3% were not interested in politics.

He did not reveal the ethnicity behind the figures but they would obviously be influenced by the proportion of i'Taukei and Indo-Fijians in his sample.

He added, "If Qarase was still the head of the SDL he would have significantly more support in what appeares to be a form of sympathy vote. The younger new voters would vote for another party if it could capture their imagination but will vote for Frank rather than the 'Old' parties."

---ACW

Comments

Dictators can go to hell said…
Croz
As I recall two other dictators like Bainimarama, notably Saddam and Gaddafi, also had almost 100% 'support'. Strangely, as I also recall, they both met the appropriate fate of dictators - one got his neck stretched and the other ended up in a ditch with a head full of lead.
joe said…
compare apples with apples a***hole, Bainimarama is a saviour, not a dictator like your uncles saddam and gaddafi.
Anonymous said…
Rumour has it that the new poll this weekend shows a similar result. If it's consistent over a month, the rest of the field may as well give up. What I want to know is how "bringing back God ( Christian state) and bringing back the GCC is going to attract the Indo-Fijian vote? It isn't. Then if enough i'Taukei and other races back Bainimarama, there's the landslide. Bainimarama does not have to lift a finger.
Brij 'the babbler' Lal resurfaces said…

AUSTRALIAN public servants can learn nothing from Fiji’s bureaucracy, says a Fijian academic expelled from the country and now based in Canberra.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s meeting a fortnight ago to repair relations with the country ruled by Commodore Frank Bainimarama included a low-key public servant exchange program between the two nations.
But, said Australian National University’s Professor Brij Lal, Canberra bureaucrats will learn nothing in Suva where the heads of departments are military men.
”Their presence at the top stifles process,” Professor Lal said.
”They’re not accountable to the public service commission but report straight to the commodore.
”If you write to any civil servant asking them for an answer, you won’t get an answer. Everyone is scared of putting an answer down on paper – it’s the fear factor.
”If there’s a genuine openness to reinvigorate the Fijian public service, unaffected by dictation from the top, that’s good.”
Commodore Bainimarama, the son of civil servants, has himself had first-hand experience of the public service.
Once, in 2002, he even reportedly attended courses in leadership and change management and policy planning analysis.
But after his 2006 coup, he sacked Public Service Commission chairman Stuart Huggett and there were unconfirmed reports at the time that Mr Huggett was assaulted.
In 2009 Fiji expelled Australia’s top public servant in the country, high commissioner James Batley.
Fijian-born Professor Lal – now an Australian citizen – was expelled from his country after criticising the decision. Fiji last year refused entry to Australia’s proposed high commissioner, Margaret Twomey.
The Department of Foreign Affairs says Fiji’s economy and living standards have been affected by the 2006 coup, particularly because regime supporters and military leaders have been appointed to boards.
Since the coup, Fiji’s economy has been stagnant with an annual growth rate of just 0.7 per cent. This compares with 2.5 per cent growth in the years preceding the coup.
It has only been in the past two years that there has been signs of recovery.
Media Tarts said…
@Brij 'the babbler' Lal, hahaha, there is no substance in this article. Must have been a slow day for the Canberra press. Who to turn to on such days but desperate media tarts like professor Brij Lal who will open toilet doors to get their name and picture in the Australian press.
Two media tarts said…

@Brij Lal media tart, you are spot on! the good professor bril Lal is beginning to rival his good mate in Canberra, Prof Yukt Saten nandan, in the field of media tarts - seems like both falling over themselves to open toilet doors to get their name and picture in the Australian press!
Manase said…
Why would we want to waste time and money for elections if it is such a forgone conclusion. Lets appoint the PM as President and the AG as PM and Fiji will have a bright future. If the Aussis and Kiwis don't like it, so be it. We don't need their advise nor their aid money.
Francis said…
Exactly, Manase! What I see is real danger that the uneducated electorate in Fiji will be manipulated by the old racist, undemocratic parties to vote for them denying our PM the strong mandate that he deserves. He has done more for Fiji and the RFMF than all other governments before!
Professor Up Yours said…
Please don't insult toilet doors. Brij the fart belongs to the sewer, not the toilet.
Joe said…
The sooner they put chaudhary where he belongs(behind bars) the better it will be for the country.

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