Wednesday 31st October, 2018-A CADRES poll conducted to garner public opinion on the upcoming referendum has determined that a majority of those that participated are in favor of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) becoming Antigua and Barbuda’s final court of Appeal.
The methodology used was similar to that of previous CADRES polls in Antigua and Barbuda.
It was a face to face survey exercise conducted by a team of local interviewers that worked with CADRES previously. These interviewers administered a short, standardised questionnaire to approximately 800 respondents that were randomly selected from all constituencies across Antigua.
There were two central issues explored, with the first being how respondents felt about the CCJ (as distinct from how they planned to vote). The majority of those polled (62%) said they “Supported the move to the CCJ” either now or in the future, while 17% said they “did not support the move to the CCJ” and 22% preferred “not to say” how they felt about this issue.
According to CADRES, respondents were presented with a list of possible reasons why they would vote “For” or “Against” the CCJ and asked to indicate which single reason appealed to them most. Among those who supported the CCJ, the most compelling reason was the suggestion that the CCJ was “cheaper to access” while those who opposed the CCJ thought that it would be “more open to political influence”.
Responses to the central question of how persons intend to vote (at this time) IF restricted to those committed to vote either “For” or “Against” demonstrate that the required threshold of 66.6% has narrowly been achieved at this time; however, CADRES would caution that this outcome could be affected either by any variation in the margin of error of the poll (+/- 5%) or if the participation of the Barbudan voters (2%) shifts the pendulum away from the “Yes” vote. The views of Barbudans were not canvassed by CADRES on this occasion.
CADRES also explored the reasons for support and opposition more exhaustively and we note that the primary characteristic that separated those “For” from those “Against” is their political affiliation with supporters of the ABLP being more inclined to support the CCJ, while supporters of the UPP are less inclined.
The government has announced that Antiguans and Barbudans will vote on November 6th in a Referendum on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which is the single issue that voters will express an opinion on that day.
The issue, and possible outcome, has been generating considerable interest and against this background, CADRES conducted a poll of public opinion between the 12th and 14th of October 2018 on the mainland island of Antigua. This poll was devoted to an exploration of the Referendum issue and sought to understand how Antiguans felt about the CCJ in principle and also how they planned to vote on November 6th. In addition, questions as to major reasons why people supported and opposed the CCJ were explored in an effort to provide some amount of context on this issue.
CADRES revealed that in October 2016, they felt the Referendum would “narrowly achieve the margin necessary for the measure to pass” and at this time we are similarly persuaded, but caution that the margin here is “razor thin”.