by Larry Smith
Well, I am no shell-shocked poll worker, but I thought that a look at the overall numbers in last week's bye-election would be instructive.
Taking the official numbers at face value (it is alleged that many people registered illegally), there were 4,942 registered voters in the Elizabeth constituency - an increase of 691 since 2007 - but more than a third of them stayed home on February 16.
And despite all the talk of a surge in support for new parties, the venerable Bahamas Democratic Movement, the newly-formed National Development Party and the idiosyncratic Workers Party won only 209 votes collectively - about 4 per cent of the total cast. So my first observation is that support for splinter candidates remains negligible, and is consistent with past experience.