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May 08, 2012

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larry smith

The official results (after tedious recounts) were 29 seats to the PLP and nine for the FNM.

The vote breakdown was 48.6% PLP, 42% FNM and 8.4% DNA. Turnout was 90.5% (compared to 92% in 2007).

Total votes cast were 155,804, out of 172,000 registered voters. The FNM took 65,518 votes and the PLP got 75,806 votes

The DNA won more than 13,000 votes, drawing significant numbers in 13 constituencies (but winning no seats).

Independent candidates took 1,294 votes (going mostly to Craig Butler in Bamboo Town and Whitney Bastian in South Andros).

I don't think it is constructive to say the election was bought by PLP bribes. This accusation emerges after every election yet no-one is ever prosecuted.

Clearly, the DNA was a big factor this time around, and one could assume that most of the votes they pulled were from the FNM - since the party's founders came from the FNM.

The FNM's pr may have been dysfunctional or ineffective (particularly as regards the Papa theme), but that would only have helped rather than caused the loss.

I think it was a case of a moderate swing against the incumbent due to economic stress, compounded by the DNA splitting the vote.

It is instructive to note that in the 2002 election, independents and small parties polled a total of 9,500 votes - similar to what the DNA polled this time around.

Back then, the independents were mostly former FNMs, and the resulting seat tally was FNM 7, PLP, 29 and IND 4. (In 2002, the PLP did not contest several former FNM seats held by FNM splitters).

In 2007 about 4,000 votes separated the FNM victors from the PLP losers. The difference this time is about 10,000 votes.

So the FNM may have lost the support of about 20,000 voters (those who voted for the PLP and the DNA) this time around.


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