Survey Shows Increased Popularity for John Briceno in Belize’s Political Landscape
Ashcroft’s commissioned survey also looked at several aspects of Belize’s political landscape from the least favorable to the most popular politician. The studies included comparing the United Democratic Party and the People’s United Party’s performance based on key areas such as reducing crime and corruption, lowering the cost of living, and creating jobs. The study also compared the leaders of both parties, Moses “Shyne” Barrow and John Briceno. Olson says the findings indicate that Briceno when compared to 2019 is looked at more now as a leader.
Trygve Olson, President, Viking Strategies: “First thing we asked is what’s the first word that comes to mind when we say “Shyne Barrow” I wasn’t really sure what to think other than my inclination was that a lot of people would cite his father and interestingly not a lot of people cited his father. He kind of is seen as his own person and so I thought that was good. Next Briceno again “leader”, “PUP”, he’s been around a while not a lot of negatives. This is what Briceno showed in 2019 and this is where there’s a difference that’s important. So if you look at this one right “leader”, “good” mostly positive in 2019 there was less “leader” so one of the things is interesting with Briceno is amongst PUP’s core voters and maybe this is just he’s in office so now he’s the leader but there is like he’s seen as a leader in a way that he wasn’t. Like maybe he’s coalesced some of the backing. It will be really interesting given what’s going on currently in Belize as it relates to his government to see whether he’s squandering some of the capital if that makes sense that because you know like “corrupt” and “corruption” were things that were in 2019 they aren’t at this point in 2023 when we did the survey I think he’s given some of that capital back.”
Olson explained that the study found that Barrow has been gaining political momentum as a leader as well and may surpass Briceno in certain areas.
Trygve Olson, President, Viking Strategies: “Briceno has the advantage in each of those amongst say it strongly applies. That didn’t really surprise me because the reality is he’s a more established figure. I mean Shyne Barrow he’s been leader for two years I think something like that not very long. Was he known ? Yes but he’s not established. Briceno has been around a long time in politics. Where are the strengths and weaknesses well what’s interesting is I thought it’s interesting that first of all Barrow is seen as a pretty strong communicator and Briceno that’s obviously they’re about even on that but I would think is we ask this in future surveys Briceno is not gonna grow probably on any of these I would suspect to see some of Barrow’s numbers even out or maybe even exceed Briceno. I also think it’s interesting that I think a challenge for him will be as he Shyne Barrow grows how does he do that without getting compared more to his father because currently he seems to be growing outside of that.”