The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness has won the island’s 18th General Election, handing a crushing defeat to the People’s National Party (PNP), which is headed by Dr. Peter Phillips.
The preliminary count of ballots shows that the JLP won 49 seats, compared to the PNP’s 14.
In the previous election, which was held in 2016, the JLP won 32 of the 63 seats.
This is the first time that the JLP is winning two consecutive elections in 53 years.
In doing so, it swept out some of the PNP heavyweights and won seats that traditionally were considered safe for the PNP.
The PNP’s shocking defeats include:
- Peter Bunting in Manchester Central
- Fenton Ferguson in St. Thomas Eastern
- Wykeham McNeill in Westmoreland Western
- Horace Dalley in Clarendon Northern
- Richard Azan in Clarendon North Western
- Ian Hayles in Hanover Western
- Luther Buchanan in Westmoreland Eastern
- Dayton Campbell in St. Ann North Western
- Colin Fagan in St. Catherine South Eastern
- Victor Wright in Trelawny Northern
- Basil Waite in St. Elizabeth North Eastern
- Imani Duncan-Price in Kingston Central
- Dwayne Vaz in Westmoreland Central
The JLP, by preliminary count, also made massive gains in some seats that the PNP is known to win by massive margins.
- St. Catherine North West where Hugh Graham of the PNP defeated Newton Amos of the JLP by only 22 votes.
- St. Ann South East, where Lisa Hannah of the PNP narrowly beat Delroy Grantson of the JLP by 14 votes. Grantson was declared the JLP candidates mere weeks before the election.
The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) said the returning officer in each constituency will today commence the final count of all ballots at a designated counting centre.
It further disclosed that the overall voter turnout in the election was approximately 37 percent. That is compared to 48.37 percent in the previous General Election. The EOJ said 1,913,410 people were eligible to vote in the election.
The election was held yesterday – 3 September 2020 – amid fear of the highly contagious and potentially deadly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
PNP members and supporters, throughout the election campaign, vowed to ‘sweep out’ the JLP government – using brooms to signify their intention.That plan backfired.
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