Voters in Fort Charlotte line up at St Francis Joseph Primary School on election day.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Progressive Liberal Party received 37 per cent of votes counted in the 2017 election, at least 11 per cent fewer than what it received in 2012, according to The Tribune’s analysis of the official election results.
The PLP received 59,397 votes, according to The Tribune’s records.
The Free National Movement, on the other hand, won 57 per cent of the votes cast in the election, 20 per cent more than the PLP received and about 14 per cent more than the party received in 2012.
The Democratic National Alliance, which saw its stock decrease this year compared to 2012, won 4.7 per cent of the vote while other parties and independent candidates won a collective 1.4 per cent of the vote.
Overall, 160,641 people had a vote that counted in this year’s election.
According to official figures, 21,034 registered voters did not vote at all in the election or did not have their vote counted.
The PLP suffered the worst electoral defeat in its history, winning just four seats: Englerston; San Salvador, Rum Cay & Cat Island; Exuma and South Andros.
Former Fox Hill MP and Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell downplayed the FNM’s landslide victory over the weekend, saying there’s nothing revolutionary about the win.
Mr Mitchell chalked the loss up to the continuing effects of the global recession, “the money of foreign interests” and the “turn of clever phrases.”
Nonetheless, many in the PLP have privately blamed former Prime Minister Perry Christie for the general election loss, despite the party’s decision to overwhelmingly re-elect him leader at its convention in January.
Alfred Sears and Leslie Miller, the PLP’s candidates in Fort Charlotte and Tall Pines respectively, have both said that as they canvassed in their constituencies they encountered voters who admired them but declined to offer their support because they could no longer stand the leadership of the party.
During the campaign season, the FNM capitalised on this and the country’s discontent with the Christie administration. The FNM frequently highlighted that administration’s decision to use value added tax (VAT) for reasons not related to debt reduction as well as scandals involving several government members, including former Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald’s unsuccessful attempt to solicit contracts from Baha Mar.