GOLDING, BROWN BURKE STEAMROLL OP­PO­NENTS

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Ed­mond Camp­bell Se­nior Staff Re­porter ed­mond.camp­bell@glean­erjm.com

IN SHORT or­der, the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party’s (PNP) Mark Golding and An­gela Brown Burke will be tak­ing their seats in the Lower House, hav­ing scored em­phatic elec­toral wins in yes­ter­day’s by-elec­tions in St An­drew South and St An­drew South West, re­spec­tively.

Both sen­a­tors re­signed from the Up­per House on October 6, and were sub­se­quently nom­i­nated for the by­elec­tions.

Golding trounced the Ja­maica Labour Party’s (JLP) Dane Den­nis by se­cur­ing 6,095 votes to be­come the mem­ber of par­lia­ment for St An­drew South. Den­nis only man­aged to eke out 894 votes.

At the same time, Brown Burke crushed the chal­lenge of the JLP’s Vic­tor Hyde to suc­ceed former PNP pres­i­dent Por­tia Simp­son Miller as mem­ber of par­lia­ment for St An­drew South West. Brown Burke reg­is­tered 6,325 votes to Hyde’s 223 votes.

In the 2016 gen­eral elec­tion, 10,792 per­sons voted for the PNP in St An­drew South West, while 702 voted for the JLP. In St An­drew South, the PNP won with 9,431 votes to the JLP’s 1,220.

LOW TURNOUT

The less-than-im­pres­sive voter turnout for both con­stituen­cies was not sur­pris­ing, as fewer elec­tors usu­ally go to the polls dur­ing by-elec­tions com­pared to na­tional polls.

Yes­ter­day’s vot­ing in the two Cor­po­rate Area con­stituen­cies was with­out any ma­jor in­ci­dent and saw sup­port­ers of both po­lit­i­cal par­ties en­gaged in friendly ri­valry at var­i­ous polling sta­tions.

Up to mid-af­ter­noon yes­ter­day, vot­ing in St An­drew South West and St An­drew South re­mained lethar­gic, with elec­tors show­ing up at the var­i­ous polling sta­tions in small num­bers.

The Elec­toral Of­fice of Ja­maica (EOJ) re­ported that lit­tle less than 12 per cent of the 25,670 elec­tors on the vot­ers’ list had turned out in St An­drew South West.

At the same time, a sim­i­lar per­cent­age of the 23,533 per­sons on the vot­ers’ list turned out to cast their bal­lots up to 11 in the morn­ing in St An­drew South.

EARLY CON­FI­DENCE

Golding said he was ex­pect­ing a strong show­ing from his sup­port­ers,

not­ing that he had done the work on the ground. How­ever, he in­di­cated that the Elec­tronic Voter Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Bal­lot Is­su­ing Sys­tem had cre­ated de­lays, caus­ing some vot­ers to leave the polling sta­tions with­out vot­ing.

The JLP’s Den­nis was brim­ming with con­fi­dence when jour­nal­ists

caught up with him in Boys’ Town, off Col­lie Smith Drive, af­ter he cast his bal­lot.

He sent a sig­nal to his op­po­nent that St An­drew South was no longer a safe PNP seat, not­ing that he would be chip­ping away at the PNP’s huge ad­van­tage and in­crease his votes in yes­ter­day’s by-elec­tion.

Den­nis de­scribed Golding as a po­lit­i­cal neo­phyte, ar­gu­ing that it was the first time he ran for a seat in rep­re­sen­ta­tional pol­i­tics.

The 28-year-old JLP can­di­date said he had enough ex­pe­ri­ence to suc­cess­fully chal­lenge for the seat.

NOR­MAN GRINDLEY/CHIEF PHOTO ED­I­TOR

An­gela Brown Burke giv­ing a vic­tory fist as former Prime Min­is­ter Por­tia Simp­son Miller en­joys the mo­ment yes­ter­day in St An­drew South West.

Mark Golding and a young sup­porter in St An­drew South.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Arthur Brown up­dates his team at Whit­field All-Age School in St An­drew South West.

Vic­tor Hyde (left) and sup­port­ers leave Whit­field All-Age School in St An­drew South­west af­ter cast­ing his vote yes­ter­day.

Ja­maica Labour Party can­di­date Dane Den­nis greets a Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party out­door agent at Boys’ Town in St An­drew South.

Former Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party pres­i­dent, Por­tia Simp­son Miller, greets a Ja­maica Labour Party sup­porter at Whit­field All-Age School in St An­drew South West yes­ter­day.

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