Bermuda Election: Green Day
A sea of green tee-shirts, socially distanced of course, filled the back streets of Hamilton, Bermuda on Thursday after the ruling Progressive Labour Party (PLP), swept to victory in the hastily called election just three years into their tenure, which can run as much as five.
On the back of an aggressive but intelligent handling of Covid-19 pandemic, which frankly has been a lesson to many much larger nations, and before the true economic reality hits, Premier David Burt took advantage of a flimsy and disorganized opposition One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) by forcing voters to the polling booths.
The PLP won 30 of the 36 seats, three the OBA didn’t even contest and grabbed 62% of the popular vote to make them the most dominant party on the island ever.
Led by former PLP leader Marc Bean, his newly formed libertarian-leaning Free Democratic Movement (FDM) placed third in the election with 5.3%, but appeared to grab many OBA votes weakening their position even more.
The turnout was low, just 55%, when normally voting reaches the high 70’s. Apathy amongst younger voters, many away at school, but also from those past OBA supporters willing to give up their vote with no one on the ticket to support especially in the knowledge that there was only ever going to be one result.
There were a couple of big swings for the PLP, including in our old seat in Southampton where shadow minister for sport Ben Smith suffered defeat giving the PLP victory there for the first time in nearly 50 years.
That contributed to the west and east of the island being now completely green, as are most of the central parishes.
In our new seat in Devonshire, the OBA leader Craig Cannonier won half as many votes as 2017, but did keep his place in the House of Assembly, but time has to be up for the petrol station manager.
David Burt is an imposing leader, assertive and bright, but difficult times lay ahead as this little island has to reinvent tourism, reinvigorate international business and resuscitate the local economy.