Jamaica Election Results
December 31, 2011 by staff
Jamaica Election Results, The emphatic drubbing of Jamaica’s governing party in fiercely contested national elections even astonished the triumphant opposition side, the campaign manager for the winning faction said Friday.
“We were very confident but the results certainly exceeded our most optimistic scenarios,” said Peter Phillips, a veteran lawmaker who led mobilization efforts for the opposition People’s National Party.
During Thursday’s election, voters threw out the Jamaica Labor Party after four years in power and delivered a landslide triumph to the main opposition whose campaign tapped voter disillusionment across the island.
A final vote count is expected in coming days, but preliminary results give former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s party a dominating 41-22 seat advantage in the House of Representatives. A little more than half of the eligible 1.6 million voters cast ballots.
Previous to the election, the Labor party held 32 seats in Parliament, compared to 28 held by the People’s National Party.
With the island’s biggest newspaper predicting a comfortable Labor win and most opinion polls putting the two clan-like parties in a virtual dead heat, the sizable margin was a stunning defeat for Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who has led Jamaica for just two months.
In a sign that voters were chastening Holness’ Labor party, they dumped some of his top Cabinet ministers, including National Security Minister Dwight Nelson and Energy Minister Clive Mullings, who lost their bids for re-election to the Parliament.
Paying off the nation’s punishing debt has long forced the government to scrimp on services, and the electorate remains deeply divided.
Phillips said the People’s National Party knew something was up about two weeks ago when the turnout of amped-up opposition supporters at campaign events grew in advance of a largely unpopular Christmas week vote.
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