Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Rise United drops Bill Johnson ‘dubplate’ amid ‘incredulous’ poll

Peter Bunting (file photo)

Peter Bunting (file photo)

Rise United, the campaign behind Peter Bunting’s challenge for the leadership of the People’s National Party (PNP), has rejected the just-released Bill Johnson OnePNP poll findings as being biased and unreliable.

The Bunting team cited the poll as “clearly a desperate attempt to confuse the public”.

The Johnson poll followed closely on the heels of a Don Anderson poll that pointed to Bunting as being far more favourably placed than Phillips to lead the PNP to victory in the next general elections. 

In a media release, Rise United’s Campaign Manager, Dr Dayton Campbell, pointed to what he described as “an example of a clearly leading and biased question” in the Johnson poll.

“Which of them (Phillips or Bunting) do you think has the most experience to be leader of the PNP?” was said to have been a poll question, to which Campbell, on behalf of Rise United, responded with cynicism.

“Of course one does not need a poll to determine that Dr Phillips’ decades in politics and three years as party leader would give him more ‘experience’ than comrade Bunting," he said.

"However, the issue is that – not withstanding that experience – Dr Phillips is not seen as an effective leader. This (has been) reflected in all polls over the last few years, including a poll done by the same Bill Johnson in March 2019,” Rise United declared.

The release quoted from Bill Johnson himself in an interview with Cliff Hughes of Nationwide (Radio) on March 11, 2019, of Dr Phillips' favourability then.

“The prime minister's favourability is higher than the Opposition leader. Fifty one per cent (of the respondents) rated the prime minister favourably, 23 per cent rate the Opposition leader favourably. In fact, the Opposition leader in under water; 42 per cent rate him unfavourably, compared to 24 per cent rating the prime minister unfavourably,” the Rise United campaign quoted from the radio interview with Johnson.

Dr Peter Phillips (file photo)

“Normally, if you have a strong prime minister or Opposition leader, you would have the candidate campaigning with them. It's almost like if I was Damion (Crawford), campaigning (for the East Portland Seat in Parliament then), I would say, ‘Peter, why don't you go someplace else and I will be here by myself’," Johnson was further quoted saying on radio ahead of the by-election.

The actual audio of the radio interview was provided as verification of Johnson’s perspectives of Phillips’ favourability then.

“There is no credible explanation for this supposed turnaround in Dr Phillips’ poll ratings, given his consistently weak poll results over the last three years,” stated the Bunting camp in reference to the findings of the recent Johnson poll. 

“Rise United appeals to the OnePNP campaign to cease these attempts to confuse the public. Let our campaigns be evidence-based and data-driven, so that the PNP builds trust and credibility with the public,” the Bunting team further stated.

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