The agony of defeat

  • Michael Dunkley addressing the media after the OBA defeat to the PLP (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Michael Dunkley addressing the media after the OBA defeat to the PLP (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A despondent band of One Bermuda Alliance members and supporters assembled at the Vasco Da Gama Club last night in the wake of a crushing defeat at the polls.

There was an air of dejection and disbelief at the Reid Street member’s club after the Progressive Labour Party emphatically secured a 24-12 majority.

The mood was in stark contrast to the scenes of December 2012, when the OBA swept to power and an elated Craig Cannonier took to the stage saying his party had set a new standard in politics.

Last night the governing party was ousted from power in a landslide victory that saw former deputy premier Bob Richards lose his Devonshire East seat to the PLP’s Christopher Famous. Mr Richards later confirmed that he would be retiring from politics.

Nandi Outerbridge, the former Minister of Social Development and Sport, was another high-profile casualty during a night of high drama as she was soundly defeated in St George’s West by Kim Swan.

Meanwhile, fellow OBA incumbents Glen Smith, Kenneth Bascome and Suzann Roberts-Holshouser also lost their seats in a tidal wave of support for the PLP.

Last night, Mr Dunkley addressed the media at OBA headquarters saying it had been a privilege to serve as the country’s Premier.

He acknowledged that his party had suffered some “crushing defeats” on a “tough day”.

Mr Dunkley said: “Congratulations to Mr Burt and the PLP. My colleagues and I wish them all the best as they try to move Bermuda forward. We will take time to reflect on the defeat that we took.

“We will reflect on four and a half years when we made real progress. The country is in a better position now but the people of Bermuda want a change.”

Mr Dunkley thanked his colleagues for their efforts and singled out Mr Richards for praise saying the former finance minister had brought the country “out of the economic abyss”.

As thousands of PLP supporters celebrated in Court Street, Mr Dunkley and a small group of MPs and party supporters reflected on the night’s events at the Vasco Da Gama Club before making their way across the road to the party’s official headquarters.

By 12.30am the room that had once been the scene of the OBA’s greatest triumph was empty and being cleaned; while outside just the security guards remained.

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