We are potentially headed for a change election. A change election is a vote for a new direction whether that vote is relatively close as in 1967 or overwhelming as in 1992 and 2002. In such elections voters are eager for a change of direction in terms of policy, style of leadership or some other feature of national life.
2007 and 2012 were not classic change elections, with voters mostly weary of the political directorate and exercised by certain issues such as corruption (2007) and the lingering effects of the Great Recession (2012). Neither the FNM nor the PLP gained a majority of the popular vote in these elections.
Change elections are rarely self-generating. They require politicians to harness the mood for change into a movement for change. The PLP had done so by the 1962 election, winning the popular vote, but stymied in their efforts to win the government because of the United Bahamian Party’s egregiously undemocratic boundary arrangements.
In 1987, it is likely that Sir Kendall Isaacs’s FNM won the general election but were robbed of victory because of widespread fraud including massive irregularities with the voters’ register.
Change doesn’t come easy. Still when the momentum for change builds it often sweeps away the political calculations and certainties of the old guard.