Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Bunting needs to prove he's more popular than Phillips – O’Brien Chang

Peter Bunting

Peter Bunting

Peter Bunting, the challenger for the post of President of the People’s National Party (PNP), is being urged to substantiate his claim that he is more popular than the incumbent, Dr Peter Phillips, and can lead the Opposition party to victory at the next national polls.

The call for Bunting to do so has come from political commentator, Kevin O’Brien Chang.

“Where is the evidence that Peter Bunting is more popular than Peter Phillips?” O’Brien Chang asked in an interview with Loop News late last week.

From a Don Anderson poll that Bunting said he commissioned in May, sections of which he made public last Sunday, he noted that 50 per cent of respondents said ‘no’ when asked whether Phillips could lead the PNP to an election victory.

According to the poll, only 19 per cent said Phillips could do so, and 31 per cent were not sure.

When the question was asked: “Can the PNP win the next election with a new leader, some 47 per cent of respondents reportedly said ‘yes’, 21 per cent said ‘no’, while 32 per cent were unsure.

Of significance is that Bunting did not state whether the pollster asked if he, Bunting, could lead the PNP to victory, and O’Brien Chang wants him to publicly clarify that point.

“We know Peter Phillips is unpopular, but we have not seen the evidence that shows that Bunting is more popular. There is such a thing as jumping out of the frying pan into the fire,” O’Brien Chang stated.

He continued: “We have never seen a poll where Peter Bunting is regarded as the choice for PNP leader. He usually comes in around fifth or so among Opposition spokespersons.”

According to the findings of a Don Anderson poll published in March, Damion Crawford was the most popular Opposition spokesperson at 46 per cent. He was followed by Angela Brown-Burke at nine per cent, Fitz Jackson and Lisa Hanna seven per cent each, and Bunting at six per cent.

A March Don Anderson poll also showed that overall, Phillips’ performance was rated as poor by a combined 60 per cent of respondents.

Dr Peter Phillips

“You’re not saying that Phillips is unpopular but here’s a very popular guy (Bunting) waiting in the wings, let’s put him in place. No. Peter Bunting is not popular. There’s no such evidence,” O’Brien Chang insisted.

About the Don Anderson poll commissioned by Bunting last month, O’Brien Chang said it would serve Bunting well to share more of the details with the public.

“I have nothing against Peter Bunting. He’s a decent enough guy just like Peter Phillips, but I’m calling it as an objective viewer, given the facts on the ground," said O’Brien Chang.

And he also blasted Bunting for stating that his decision to challenge Phillips was not a calculated move.

“He’s contradicting himself. He commissioned a poll and by all indications, these things don’t come cheap. Then after he got the results of the polls, he announced his challenge,” O’Brien Chang asserted.

However, when asked, O’Brien Chang would not be drawn into a prediction on the likely winner of the leadership challenge.

“It’s the delegates who will decide. They want their party to win, and they’re not going to take money to put up a leader (who) they think is less popular,” said O’Brien Chang amid rumours already swirling about potential vote buying.

“In any event, I wouldn’t make a call unless I see a Don Anderson poll which asks the question about Peter Phillips versus Peter Bunting.

“Whichever one Don Anderson says is more popular, that’s where my vote would go,” said the political commentator.

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