Holness remains ahead
LEADER OF the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness remains ahead of People's National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller, from whom he is trying to wrest political power, as the person who more Jamaicans believe would do a better job as prime minister.
A psychotherapist has labelled the two political leaders a study in contrast as the more placid Holness remakes himself to stand competitively against the acknowledged charismatic might of Simpson Miller.
The Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson poll has found that 39 per cent of Jamaicans believe that Holness would do a better job as prime minister, compared to 29 per cent for Simpson Miller. The remaining 32 per cent were undecided.
The poll was done islandwide between September 25 and 27 with 1,200 residents and a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 per cent.
In September 2014, Johnson found that 46 per cent of Jamaicans were of the view that Holness would do a better job, compared to 26 per cent for Simpson Miller.
This means that over the intervening 12-month period, Holness lost seven percentage points while Simpson Miller gained three.
The poll also found that more PNP supporters (76 per cent) than JLP supporters (59 per cent) would vote for the leader of their party.
For the psychotherapist, from a clinical perspective, people in the PNP have engendered a type of complex in Simpson Miller to make her feel she is no longer accountable to anyone.
"It comes off as delusions of grandeur. I am sure this is not who she is," said the psychotherapist, who asked not to be named because of the close interactive nature of the exercise.
She added: "They've also made a very confident person into a self-embarrassed figurehead."
She also charged that the patience of the "uptown faction of the PNP", who had long pretended to be tolerant of Simpson Miller and her background, is now spent.
Holness was described as a study in the opposite direction.
"He has changed from a very stubborn, anally retentive individual into a likeable person," she said. "Strangely, he was always likeable, but his delivery wasn't translating."
Psychotherapy is the treatment of mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means. It employs the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction, to help a person change and overcome problems in desired ways.
The psychotherapist told The Gleaner that she had been studying Simpson Miller's metamorphosis since 2011. "It is fascinating to watch from a psycho-analytical perspective," she declared.
She asserted that Simpson Miller and Holness were going in opposite directions.
"Andrew is finally learning that popularity is just as important as substance," she said. "This only happened after he shed some very serious dead weight around him."
Added the psychotherapist: "Portia was better off without those who felt that polishing her image involved shutting her up."
She suggested that there are other liabilities around her. "One tells her what she should say and the other does damage control when she says it."
Said the psychotherapist: "Portia needs to be the only person she can be: Portia. That is the person the people fell in love with and respected."
She said that this didn't originally include being loud. "She was just a regular lady - like your lovable aunt who came around. No one expected miracles, but they expected honesty."
Continued the psychotherapist: "Saying things like 'I will not talk myself out of power' and not speaking for three years was too much for her staunchest supporters to bear."
She suggested that Holness needs to use his "bigger head".
"He is being blamed for (Dr Christopher) Tufton not getting a seat," she said. "If he wished to score major points, he should just place him in one. That would nullify any thought of him not being the real leader and prove he is the real boss, and Tufton would have no option but to act grateful."