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‘The economy (and crime), stupid!’: recent poll says Government needs to reduce cost of living, increase employment

Posted: Wednesday, June 7, 2023. 8:48 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: A recent poll of Belizean voters conducted from February to April, sponsored by Lord Michael Ashcroft, say U.S. Democratic Party strategist James Carville’s 1992 dictum to Bill Clinton’s campaign still applies in politics: “The economy, stupid!”

In a word, Belizeans told pollsters Viking Strategies that the economy was bad – likely due to the lingering effects of the COVID pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war and the associated rise in the cost of living.

Indeed, the three most important issues Belizeans said the Government urgently needed to work on are reducing the cost of living, improving the economy, and increasing employment. While the economic situation has improved, it does not appear to have trickled down to the rank and file. By and large, addressing crime and government corruption are also top priorities.

The Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) will certainly seize on better marks against the Government for improving the job situation, lower cost of living, and reducing crime and access to health care, while the current government gets higher marks for improving infrastructure, reducing government corruption and improving relations with other nations.

But Belizeans gave favorable marks to both Prime Minister John Briceño and Opposition Leader Moses “Shyne” Barrow as well as most current politicians with the notable exception of John Saldivar.

The poll was conducted with 1,066 voters generally representing Belize’s political and social makeup, using face-to-face interviews with data collected on mobile phones. The margin of error for the poll is 3.24 percent with a confidence level of 95 percent. Viking Strategies has been conducting polls in Belize almost annually since 2009.

The poll sampled opinions on the redistricting process, the cruise port situation, and crime as well as the favorability of politicians and we will have separate stories on these results.

 

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