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Dickinson ready to serve

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No hard feelings: Justin Mathias congratulates Curtis Dickinson after his win (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Curtis Dickinson became the Progressive Labour Party’s 25th MP last night as he stormed to victory in Warwick North East.

The result, announced at Bright Temple AME Church at 10pm, was met with applause from a group of PLP supporters who had remained at the polling station.

It marked a turnaround from the last General Election as Mr Dickinson won the seat against One Bermuda Alliance candidate Justin Mathias with 375 votes to 300.

Mr Dickinson, who had left the polling station as the count began, returned to shake hands with Mr Mathias.

He then made his way to Warwick Workmen’s Club, where he was welcomed by ecstatic PLP supporters to chants of “PLP all the way”.

A beaming Mr Dickinson, flanked by his family, said his first priority after being sworn in and catching up on some sleep was “rolling up my sleeves like with any new challenge and getting on with it”.

He added he was prepared to work in any capacity in the House of Assembly, including a ministerial post.

Mr Dickinson said: “I am here to serve, and serve as best as I possibly can. I will leave to the Premier to decide what form that service takes.”

Mr Dickinson thanked everyone who voted for him, along with his family and the “phenomenal” team that supported him over the five-week campaign.

David Burt, the Premier, told the jubilant crowd that the victory was an endorsement of the people’s support for the PLP.

There was a steady stream of voters at the polling station throughout the day and both candidates appeared in good spirits as polling drew to a close.

One woman voter said that she was pleased to see that there was an “obvious interest in this by-election”.

Another added he hoped the outcome would be what is “best for Warwick”.

Mr Dickinson said as the voting drew to a close: “It’s been a pretty good turn out.”

He added that the support had been “fantastic”.

Mr Mathias said it had been “really encouraging” to see people he had met while out and about in the constituency at the polls.

He added that turnout for a by-election was traditionally lower but that it had “been a great day”.

He promised to continue his work with the party and to serve the people of Warwick North East.

Party time: Curtis Dickinson celebrates with supporters at Warwick Workmen’s Club. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)