MP for Lopinot/Bon Air Dr Lincoln Douglas says low favourable opinion rating from constituents stem from a deliberate effort to undermine his presence in the constituency by another political party.
Douglas, a member of the Congress of the People and Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism, was elected as the constituency’s MP after the 2010 polls.
In a poll conducted by Louis Bertrand of H.H.B and Associates, 64.3 per cent of Douglas’ constituents had an unfavourable opinion of him as an MP while a similar amount, 61.7 per cent, had an unfavorable opinion of him as a person.
Less than 25 per cent of constituents polled said they liked Douglas as a person and an MP.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Douglas said certain elements in his constituency, including members of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), had attempted to undermine him.
“I am not surprised. There is constant propaganda brought against me by these elements,” he added.
Another reason MP Douglas wasn’t surprised by the results was because his constituency was somewhat evenly divided between People’s National Movement (PNM) and People’s Partnership supporters.
Out of the over 17,500 people who voted in the last general election in 2010, Douglas got just over 9,200 votes, while his closest rival, PNM’s Neil Parsanlal, got over 8,000.
There were over 24,000 people eligible to vote in the constituency according to the Elections and Boundaries Commission’s (EBC) voting list in 2010.
“On any given Sunday, you will ask people and one of two people will be for me and one against me. The poll is no mystery,” Douglas said.
He felt the poll did not accurately reflect his or his government’s delivery to the people of Lopinot/Bon Air.
He said: “My delivery to this constituency far exceeds what they have experienced under the PNM.
“In the last five years I have brought lights to eight recreational fields, paved or fixed nearly 150 roads.
“We had no flooding because we ensured the rivers were cleared and we redid the Arouca bridge, at a cost of $20 million, widening it so that it could also be safely used by pedestrians.”
The Arouca bridge connects Arouca to the D’Abadie communities.
“We repaired the Arouca Old Road and have almost completely addressed the issue of squatting in the constituency,” he said.
Douglas grew up in a squatting community on the Arouca Old Road.
“I grew up here and I am in this constituency every day. I have visited every school and church in this community at least twice in the past five years,” he noted.
He also listed his constituency’s education fund which distributed grants of $2,000 to children moving from primary to secondary schools and his legal clinic as achievements.
Still, Douglas said his rating in the poll was less about delivery of service to constituents and more about politics.
He noted concerns from his constituents regarding infrastructure and unemployment.
“I can understand the concerns about unemployment but as a minister, what can you do? I am not a businessman.
“I cannot hire everybody but when there are projects in the community we try to link people with jobs.
“I lobbied for a housing development for the constituency and there are now jobs for the young people.”
The likelihood of constituents voting in the next general election was around 60 per cent, with 38 per cent of constituents sampled, saying they were either unlikely to vote or unsure whether they would vote.
The poll, which was released on CNC3’s On the Margin programme last night, used a stratified random sample of 300 adults, selected based on polling divisions in the constituency.
The margin of error was in the poll was plus or minus 5.5 per cent.