PLP’s landslide election victory
”We can no longer have our people working two and three jobs just to remain in poverty. That is what we are here to change. It is your stories, your struggle, your pain that we will take with us into government to ensure that not only you have a better future, but we will build a better future for our children”
— David Burt, the new Premier of Bermuda to supporters after the Progressive Labour Party wins a landslide General Election in 2017
It had been billed as a tight battle, but the Progressive Labour Party soared to its greatest landslide General Election victory on July 18, 2017.
The PLP secured 24 seats against 12 for the One Bermuda Alliance, with 59 per cent of the popular vote, to reclaim power in extraordinary fashion.
Finance minister Bob Richards was the greatest casualty for the OBA, as he succumbed to defeat by activist Christopher Famous in Devonshire East and promptly retired from politics.
Other losses included Glen Smith to Wayne Caines, Nandi Outerbridge to Renée Ming, Suzann Roberts-Holshouser to Tinée Furbert and Jeff Sousa, who had claimed it would take a “miracle” for Dennis Lister III to defeat him.
David Burt, 38, became Bermuda’s youngest premier, while Wayne Caines saw off former PLP premier Paula Cox, who won only 41 votes in her bid as an independent in Devonshire North West.
Mr Burt told joyous supporters outside Alaska Hall: “The most important people to thank today is all of you.
“Family, as I said, this belongs to all of you, because all of you saw through the negative attacks, all of you saw through what they tried to say about the PLP, and you believed in your hearts that the 36 of us, together with all of you, could change the course of our country.”
Only a few days before the election, a Global Research poll commissioned by The Royal Gazette suggested the OBA had an 11-point lead over the PLP.
Yet the OBA’s 4½-year reign had arguably imploded at least two years earlier, as the public staged a series of protests, marches and work stoppages in opposition to its policies.
In the run-up to the big day, the PLP held a succession of increasingly popular rallies, as the mood of the country swung dramatically in favour of change.
On July 18, 20,059 people voted PLP, an increase of 5,841 from 2012, and the highest number of votes obtained by any political party under the system of 36 single-seat constituencies.
The retirement of OBA MP Jeff Baron in 2018 brought about a by-election that increased the PLP’s advantage in the Lower House to 25-11 after victory by Curtis Dickinson over Justin Mathias in Warwick North East.
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