Scott Simmons gets the PLP nod in Southampton West Central
Government press attaché Scott Simmons defeated Denton Williams in a PLP branch election last night, making him the likely candidate for Southampton West Central.
Mr Simmons picked up 20 votes at the well attended meeting, while Mr Williams picked up only nine votes.
The final decision on who will represent the party in the next general election will be made by the PLP’s Central Committee, but results from the primaries currently being held are only likely to be overturned in exceptional circumstances.
Following the vote tally, Mr Simmons, a former police officer, stood near the door of the hall, shaking hands with the party members.
Mr Simmons said he didn’t want to comment about the election results, but praised the branch election process as being transparent and putting more power in the hands of the constituents.
“I am pleased by the new process so far,” he said. “It means that the constituents get to see the candidates and make the decision for themselves rather than having that decision being made for them.”
Mr Simmons previously represented the PLP in Smith’s West in the 2003 general election, but was defeated by UBP candidate Trevor Moniz by 109 votes.
In the next general election, Mr Simmons could again go head-to head with a sitting UBP MP.
The Southampton West Central seat is currently held by Charlie Swan, who won a 2008 by-election against Marc Bean after Jon Brunson stepped away from the seat due to work commitments.
Last nights vote was just one of a series of branch elections being held by the party in recent weeks, which have both introduced new potential candidates and put the political future of some sitting MPs in doubt.
Last week, Rolfe Commissiong upset Government backbencher Ashfield DeVent, and on Tuesday evening former Senator Walton Brown defeated National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief in a branch election.
And the PLP announced last night that it would hold a second candidate selection meeting for Pembroke West Central on October 12 after the first produced no clear winner.
The vote between Minister Neletha Butterfield and Senator David Burt reportedly resulted in a count of 35 to 34 favouring Ms Butterfield, but it later emerged that one of the voters was too young to have voted.
The second candidate selection for Constituency 18 will be held at the Berkeley Institute.