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Green sweep: PLP crushes OBA 30-6

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The Progressive Labour Party crushed the One Bermuda Alliance at the General Election yesterday, winning 30 seats to just six for their opponents.

The ruling party gained five seats earlier held by the OBA and won more than 60 per cent of the total vote, in even more of a landslide than their momentous win three years ago.

But the turnout was at its lowest for decades — just 60 per cent, factoring in the three uncontested PLP seats which lopped off more than 3,600 voters who were not required to cast a ballot. It was a night of celebration for the PLP and one of turmoil and disappointment for the OBA.

David Burt, the PLP leader and Premier, was cheered as he appeared in front of a sea of green outside Alaska Hall on Court Street, Hamilton, after the final results came in.

He told supporters that now was the time for the country to unite and that he planned to “reach out to all Bermudians, but especially those who did not support us”.

Mr Burt said: “We have an incredibly difficult road ahead for this country and it is going to require us all to work together, whether we be Government, Opposition, business, unions and citizens.

“I now say that it is time for us to put aside our red, our yellow and our green — our historical divisions — and come together as one people, one Bermuda, to recover our economy and to build a more inclusive economy that benefits all.”

The Premier added: “I pledge to you today that this PLP government will not take this significant margin in the House of Assembly for granted.

“This is an awesome honour and now is not the time for arrogance. It is the time for humility and reflection.

“It is a time to redouble our efforts to reconnect with those who feel across the country that this government is not listening to them.”

Leah Scott, the OBA deputy leader, and MP Ben Smith lost their seats in Southampton East Central and Southampton West Central, respectively, which left the West End from Warwick out represented by the PLP.

Christopher Famous, a party campaign strategist and the MP for Devonshire East, said: “We wiped them out in the west — the entire west is green.”

Opposition seats that had been held by Trevor Moniz, Sylvan Richards and Jeanne Atherden also fell to the PLP and the newly formed Free Democratic Movement got more votes than the OBA in three constituencies.

The scene at the OBA headquarters in Hamilton was sombre.

Craig Cannonier, who held Devonshire South Central, said it was too early for him to make a decision about his future as OBA leader.

He added: “I don't plan on going anywhere right now because we have built a dynamic team.

“So there are no plans, but I am going to sit down and take a few days and think about what it is I want to do next, and we'll make some decisions from there.”

The PLP won 15,998 votes, or 62 per cent, to 8,314 votes for the OBA, 32 per cent.

The FDM, formed just a month ago after Mr Burt called a snap election, got 1,384 votes — 5.37 per cent — and no seats.

Marc Bean, the FDM leader, failed to beat Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, in Sandys North but did better than the OBA's Jeff Sousa.

Mr Bean, a former PLP leader, won 185 votes, against 431 for Ms Simmons, of the PLP, and 114 for Mr Sousa.

He said his party was here to stay and would work on writing its constitution and connecting with young voters.

Mr Bean added: “We have to reflect on things. As we analyse the whole campaign, we'll be able to look at our strengths and weaknesses and adjust accordingly.”

The FDM's best performer in terms of votes gained was Christine Eliot Storey, who ran against the PLP's Jamahl Simmons in Sandys South and got 202 votes to his 532.

The OBA did not field a candidate for that seat or in four other constituencies.

Ms Scott lost her seat to Jason Wade, of the PLP, by 486 votes to 400.

Jache Adams, of the PLP, defeated Marcus Jones, of the OBA, by 368 votes to 307 in Pembroke West, a seat won by the OBA's Ms Atherden in 2017. FDM candidate LeYoni Junos got 39 votes.

Anthony Richardson, of the PLP, defeated Robin Tucker, of the OBA, by 422 votes to 326 in the Hamilton South seat previously held by Mr Richards, of the OBA.

Cheryl Packwood, of the FDM, got 89 votes.

Vance Campbell, of the PLP, defeated Vic Ball, of the OBA, by 432 votes to 403, to claim the seat last held by Trevor Moniz, of the OBA, who retired in the summer.

Crystal Caesar, of the PLP, defeated incumbent Ben Smith, of the OBA, in Southampton West Central.

The five independent candidates who stood got 67 votes — 0.26 per cent of ballots cast — between them.

More than 44 per cent of the electorate did not vote.

Of 42,638 people eligible to vote, only 25,763 or 60 per cent cast a ballot — one of the lowest election turnouts the island has seen and a decrease of almost 25 per cent compared with 2017, when 34,065 voted.

Ashfield DeVent, a former PLP minister, said the turnout was “concerning”.

He added that he had spoken earlier to a number of young black men who said they did not plan to vote.

Mr DeVent said: “They said it didn't make any difference to them who they voted for.”

John Barritt, who was a United Bermuda Party and OBA MP for 18 years, added: “They were sufficiently motivated not to vote.”

The dismal numbers resulted in the PLP and OBA getting 4,061 and 5,523 fewer votes respectively than in 2017.

Victory smile: David Burt proves himself a master politician with a second crushing election success (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Jubilation on Court Street (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)
Leah Scott, of the One Bermuda Alliance, lost to Jason Wade, of the Progressive Labour Party, in Southampton East Central (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: PLP (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 3 St. Davids, Clearwater Middle School. Pictured- Lovitta Foggo (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 2 St. George's West, Penno's Wharf Cruise Ship Terminal. Pictured- Thomas Harvey with his wife (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Big win: Kim Swan handlily won St George's West, Constituency 2 in the October 1, 2020 General Election. Here he greets a constituent at the Penno's Wharf Cruise Ship Terminal (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 3 St. Davids, Clearwater Middle School. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 1.St. George's North, East End Primary School. Pictured- James Perry and Renee Ming (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 3 St. Davids, Clearwater Middle School. Pictured- Antoine Cannonier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 6 Hamilton West, Midland Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church Hall. Pictured- Wayne Furbert (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 4 St. George's South, Holy Trinity Church Hall. Pictured- Tinee Furbert (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Encouragement from a veteran: the Progressive Labour Party's Tinee Furbert gets a hug from the former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Randy Horton, at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Hamilton Parish (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 4 St. George's South, Holy Trinity Church Hall. Pictured- Kim Pitcher (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 7.Hamilton South, Harrington Sound Primary School. Pictured- Robin Tucker (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election: 10.Smith's North, Somersfield Academy. Pictured- Michael Dunkley with family (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election:12. Devonshire South Central, Horticultural Hall, Botanical Gardens. Pictured- Craig Cannonier with wife (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election:12. Devonshire South Central, Horticultural Hall, Botanical Gardens. Pictured- Craig Cannonier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
2020 Bermuda General Election:12. Devonshire South Central, Horticultural Hall, Botanical Gardens. Pictured- Craig Cannonier (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
David Burt, the Premier, arrives with his family to greet voters at Berkeley Institute Constituency 18 Pembroke West Central (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
David Burt, the Premier, greets voters at Berkeley Institute Constituency 18 Pembroke West Central (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Waves of support show up for David Burt, the Premier, at Berkeley Institute Constituency 18 Pembroke West Central (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
David Burt, the Premier, helps a voter to the polls at Berkeley Institute Constituency 18 Pembroke West Central (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
David Burt, the Premier, and family are all smiles on election day at Berkeley Institute Constituency 18 Pembroke West Central (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Marcus Jones, OBA candidate for Constituency 19 Pemboke West, supported by Jeanne Atherden (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Voters out in force at Constituency 19 Pemboke West at West Pembroke Primary School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Voters out in force at Constituency 19 Pemboke West at West Pembroke Primary School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
David Burt , the Premier, makes final adjustments to PLP candidate Jache Adams at Constituency 19 Pemboke West at West Pembroke Primary School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
David Burt, the Premier, finds time for his family on election day (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Poised Jache Adams, PLP candidate at Constituency 19 Pemboke West, at West Pembroke Primary School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Jache Adams, PLP candidate, greets voters at Constituency 19 Pemboke West at West Pembroke Primary School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Davida Morris, PLP candidate, speaks with a suppoter at Constituency 20 Pembroke South West at Dellwood Middle School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Davida Morris, PLP candidate, speaks with a suppoter at Constituency 20 Pembroke South West at Dellwood Middle School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Constituency 20 Pembroke South West at Dellwood Middle School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Susan Jackson, OBA candidate, greets voters at Constituency 20 Pembroke South West at Dellwood Middle School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Voters go through Covid-19 screening at Constituency 20 Pembroke South West at Dellwood Middle School (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
First seat: Curtis Dickinson, the Progressive Labour Party's finance minister, left, stands with Gavin Smith, the Free Democratic Movement candidate, at the Constituency 21 [Pembroke South East] polling station at Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church Hall yesterday. Pembroke South East was the first confirmed win for the PLP on the night (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Poised Curtis Dickinson, finance minister, at Constituency 21 Pembroke South East at Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Good foundation: an enthusiastic Gavin Smith, Free Democratic Movement party candidate in Constituency 21, Pembroke South East, was upbeat at Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church Hall yesterday. Mr Smith, a FDM co-founder, lost to Curtis Dickinson, the Progressive Labour Party's finance minister (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Gavin Smith, FDM candidate, greets voters at Constituency 21 Pembroke South East at Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Constituency 22 Paget East at Bermuda College (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Curtis Richardson directs a voter to the polls at Constituency 22 Paget East at Bermuda College (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Scott Pearman directs a voter to the polls at Constituency 22 Paget East at Bermuda College (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Curtis Richardson, PLP candidate, greets voters at Constituency 22 Paget East at Bermuda College (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Voters flock to polling station at Constituency 22 Paget East at Bermuda College (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Voters flock to polling station at Constituency 22 Paget East at Bermuda College (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Jarion Richardson, OBA candidate, greets voters at Constituency 23 Paget West at St Paul's Church Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Voters face Covid-19 screening at Constituency 22 Paget East at Bermuda College (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Ianthia Wade, PLP candidate, and Jon Brunson, OBA candidate, face off at Constituency 25 Warwick North East (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Ianthia Wade, PLP candidate, with family support at Constituency 25 Warwick North East (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published October 02, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated October 02, 2020 at 3:59 pm)

Green sweep: PLP crushes OBA 30-6

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