An opinion survey conducted in early July by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) has found mixed views about the performance of the government. NACTA is a New York-based polling group with no affiliation to any political party. It has been conducting polls regularly in the Caribbean and other regions. The latest Guyana poll was conducted to find out opinion on current issues as well as to determine approval ratings for the President, support for the major presidential candidates, and popular support for the parties for the upcoming elections which must be held by December.
The poll randomly interviewed 780 voters to yield a demographically representative sample (45% Indians, 30% Africans, 16% Mixed, 8% Amerindians, and 1% others) of the population.
The survey was conducted by several interviewers (with many years of experience in survey interviewing throughout Guyana) and was coordinated by Vishnu Bisram, a pollster, newspaper columnist, and an educator in New York.
The results of the poll were analyzed at a 95 per cent significance level and a statistical sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points was found. Sampling results based on subgroups (such as Indians or Africans) have a larger sampling error of about 5%.
Asked to identify the most important problem facing the country, cost of living is at the top with 29%, followed by crime at 26%, corruption at 12%, and unemployment 8%.
Asked if they are satisfied with the overall performance of the government, only 43% said yes with 41% saying no, 16% offering no response or not sure.
According to the findings of the survey, Jagdeo’s approval rating is 70% with a disapproval rating of 25% and 5% not offering a response. Only a few ministers are viewed as serious performers such as Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud, Health’s Dr Leslie Ramsammy, and Human Services Priya Manikchand heading the list.
The poll also queried respondents on other issues including support for the presidential candidates. These findings will be released subsequently.
Racial Breakdown of People Polled
Race Number %
Indian 351 45
African 234 30
Mixed 125 16
Amerindian 62 8
Others 8 1
Total 780 100
What do you think is the most important problem facing the country?
Cost of living 29
No Answer 14
Are you satisfied with the performance of the government?
Yes No Not Sure
43 41 16
Do you approve of the performance of President Jagdeo?
Yes No Not Sure
70 25 5
Who would you describe as the best performing minister of government?
Robert Persaud 22
Leslie Ramsammy 16
Priya Manikchand 15
Irfan Ali 10
Ashni Singh 9
Frank Anthony 7
Not Sure 13