Andrew predicts big win

Andrew predicts big win

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 03, 2020

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JUST about three months after being appointed Jamaica's ninth prime minister in October 2011, Andrew Holness led his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) into the December 29 General Election and suffered a crushing 42-21 seats defeat to the Portia Simpson Miller-led People's National Party (PNP).

Five years later — battle-hardened by a tough fight to keep the leadership of the JLP after a challenge from Audley Shaw — Holness led the JLP into the 2016 General Election with the majority of national polls projecting a PNP win and pulled off a one-seat stunner, with a 32-31 victory.

Since then Holness has piloted his party in by-elections to capture two of the seats that the PNP won in 2016 St Mary South Eastern and the traditional PNP stronghold of Portland Eastern.

Today a confident Holness goes for another win as he tries to keep his party in power for a second-consecutive term for the first time since the 1983 General Election which the PNP did not contest.

“The Jamaica Labour Party is very ready for this election. From I have been observing and participating in elections this is the most organised I have seen the party's machinery,” said Holness who first contested a general election in 1997 when he won the St Andrew West Central constituency, which he has retained in four subsequent elections.

“The party's machinery is intact, it is well mobilised, it is also high energy and there is a high level of vigilance with that energy as well,” added Holness, who enters today's election with major national polls showing the JLP with a double-digit lead over the PNP.

But Holness, who has already indicated that he does not follow the polls, told the Jamaica Observer that his confidence in a JLP victory is justified by its performance in Government over the past term.

“We have done the work. We are not going on promises, we are not facing the electorate with empty words. For the first time in a long time Jamaica has a Government that can face the electorate with performance. That means something.

“There are those in the electorate where performance doesn't matter. They will vote by virtue of allegiance and tradition, but for the independent voter who is looking on objectively, if you compare performance, the Jamaica Labour Party is way ahead,” said Holness.

“This election is also about the thinking voter and what the thinking voter will do, so you will have the traditional, partisan voter but you will also have the thinking voter, and if you put all of that together what you come out with is a victory for the Jamaica Labour Party,” added Holness.

With some senior members of the JLP projecting a blowout with more than 40 seats in its winning column, Holness would not be drawn into the numbers game despite his confidence.

“The Jamaica Labour Party will have a sizeable majority, much more significant than the majority [34-29] we currently have,” declared Holness.


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