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What PNP delegates need to also consider

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Dear Editor,

The robust democracy that is practised in Jamaica is to be commended for the most part. The shenanigans with ballot boxes are over, last heard of in 1989. The 'free from fear' part of the equation is enjoyed by about 90 per cent of the island. There are still some constituencies that are not quite there yet. I need not name them here, most political observers know where they are.

Let us now turn our gaze to the two contenders in the People's National Party (PNP) presidential race. Can each contender expect to retain his seat after the next general election? Let us look at their performances so far and see what we can deduce from these numbers. See tables.

Dr Peter Phillips's numbers fluctuate over the years if you are looking at raw votes. However, if you look at his votes as a percentage of all who are eligible, he is declining. He can rest assured, though, because only a swing of 11 per cent to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) can spell defeat for him.

Peter M Bunting has been able to eke out narrow victories against competitive JLP candidates. One could say he had a walkover victory versus the 70-year-old former Prime Minister Hugh Lawson Shearer, albeit in a JLP stronghold, in 1993. If, and I say if, the JLP were to put a competitive candidate in Manchester Central again, Bunting could lose. A small swing of only five per cent would achieve that outcome.

The PNP's delegates should pay keen attention to past electoral performances before they cast their ballot on September 7, 2019.


The Purple Lantern