British Virgin Islands general election, 2011

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British Virgin Islands general election, 2011
British Virgin Islands
2007 ←
November 7, 2011 (2011-11-07)
→ 2015

All seats in the British Virgin Islands House of Assembly
7 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 68.8% (est.)
  First party Second party
  D. Orlando Smith (cropped).jpg Ralph T. O'Neal (cropped).jpg
Leader Orlando Smith Ralph T. O'Neal
Party National Democratic Party Virgin Islands Party
Leader since 1999 1995
Leader's seat At-large 9th District
Last election 2 seats, 39.6% 10 seats, 45.2%
Seats before 2 10
Seats won 9 4
Seat change +7 -6
Percentage 52.5% 39.0%
Swing +11.9% -6.2%

Premier before election

Ralph T. O'Neal
Virgin Islands Party

Elected Premier

Orlando Smith
National Democratic Party

The British Virgin Islands general election, 2011 was held in the British Virgin Islands on 7 November 2011.[1] The result was a decisive victory for the opposition National Democratic Party (NDP) led by Orlando Smith over the incumbent Virgin Islands Party (VIP), led by Premier Ralph T. O'Neal.[2] No minor parties or independent candidates won any seats.

Background[edit]

The House of Assembly was dissolved on 13 September 2011, by the Governor, Mr William Boyd McCleary, on advice from the Premier. However, the date of the election was not announced until 23 September 2011.

Premier Ralph O'Neal confirmed that he would lead his party at the 2011 general election, even though he would turn 78 shortly after the election, and would be 82 at the end of the term of office (if re-elected).

Second district representative, Alvin Christopher (who received the highest percentage of votes for a territorial candidate (75.9%) in the 2007 election) announced that he will run for the Virgin Islands Party. Mr Christopher has formerly run for the VIP, the NDP and as an independent candidate.

Although the ruling Virgin Islands Party had a huge majority following the 2007 election the intervening years had been characterised by difficult economic times, and a series of natural disasters had hit the Territory damaging its infrastructure. Both of these events led to criticism being directed towards the ruling Government.

Results[edit]

The 2011 general election was largely a complete reversal of the 2007 election. Whereas in 2007 everything seemed to go the way of the VIP, in 2011 every closely contested seat seemed to end up falling to the NDP. The VIP characteristically dominated their safe seats in the First, Second and Third Districts, and the NDP characteristically dominated the At-large seats, sweeping all four. But surprise defeats for the VIP in Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Districts handed victory to the NDP. Former Premier Ralph O'Neal managed to cling on to his seat in the Ninth District, which he had held for 40 years, by just 28 votes.

e • d Summary of the 7 November 2011 Legislative assembly election results
Parties Votes* %age Seats
National Democratic Party 22,858 52.5% 9
Virgin Islands Party 16,998 39.0% 4
People's Patriotic Alliance 2,204 5.1% 0
Independents 1,491 3.4% 0
Speaker and Attorney General 2
Total (turnout 68.8% (est.)) 43,551 100.0% 15
* Each voter has 5 votes; 1 district vote and 4 territorial "at-large" votes
Source: BVI Platinum News

District seats[edit]

The results of the voting for the district seats were as follows:

  • First electoral district
Candidate No of votes Percentage
Andrew A. Fahie (VIP) 611 65.8%
Preston Stoutt (IND) 317 34.2%
  • Second Electoral District
Candidate No of votes Percentage
J. Alvin Christopher (VIP) 423 52.4%
Claude Cline-Skelton (NDP) 339 42.0%
Leall Rhymer (IND) 38 4.7%
Allewine Smith 7 0.9%
  • Third Electoral District
Candidate No of votes Percentage
Julian Fraser (VIP) 613 52.4%
Kevin Smith (NDP) 557 47.6%
  • Fourth Electoral District
Candidate No of votes Percentage
Mark Vanterpool (NDP) 661 68.5%
Vincent Scatliffe (VIP) 209 21.7%
Collin Scatliffe (IND) 95 9.8%
  • Fifth Electoral District
Candidate No of votes Percentage
Delores Christopher (NDP) 727 55.0%
Elvis Jerome Harrigan (VIP) 596 45.0%
  • Sixth Electoral District
Candidate No of votes Percentage
Alvera Maduro-Caines (NDP) 612 61.4%
Omar Hodge (VIP) 385 38.6%
  • Seventh Electoral District
Candidate No of votes Percentage
Kedrick Pickering (NDP) 535 70.1%
Ronnie Lettsome (VIP) 156 20.5%
Allen Wheatley (IND) 72 9.4%
  • Eighth Electoral District
Candidate No of votes Percentage
Marlon Penn (NDP) 524 48.1%
Dancia Penn (VIP) 423 38.8%
Bevis Sylvester (IND) 112 10.3%
Nolan Davis (IND) 30 2.8%
  • Ninth Electoral District
Candidate No of votes Percentage
Ralph T. O'Neal (VIP) 565 49.4%
Hubert O'Neal (NDP) 537 46.9%
Lorie Rymer (IND) 20 1.8%
Devon Osborne (IND) 11 1.0%
Rheudell Samuel O'Neal 11 1.0%

(IND) = Independent candidate
(NDP) = National Democratic Party candidate
(VIP) = Virgin Islands Party candidate

One of the bigger surprises was the defeat of Government minister and veteran politician, Omar Hodge, in the 6th district by political newcomer, Alvera Maduro-Caines. Early counts showed incumbent Premier, Ralph O'Neal, trailing his challenger, Hubert O'Neal, in the 9th district, but he eventually overhauled the challenger to retain the seat which he has held since 1975.

In the Territorial seats, the highest percentage of votes and greatest margin of victory (nearly 50 points) was Kendrick Pickering in the 7th district. The largest number of individual votes however was Delores Christopher in the 5th district. The lowest percentage of votes by a winning candidate was Marlon Penn (48.1%) in the four way race in the 9th district. The lowest total number of votes by a victorious candidate was Alvin Christopher (423) in the 2nd district.

Territorial At-Large Seats[edit]

The results for the at-large seats were as following. The top four vote receiving candidates are elected to the at-large seats.

Position Candidate Party Votes
1 Orlando Smith (NDP) (5,081 votes)
2 Myron Walwyn (NDP) (4,605 votes)
3 Ronnie Skelton (NDP) (4,475 votes)
4 Archibald Christian (NDP) (4,205 votes)
5 Irene Penn-O'Neal (VIP) (3,764 votes)
6 Zoë Walcott-McMillan (VIP) (3,335 votes)
7 Vernon Malone (VIP) (2,960 votes)
8 Keith Flax (VIP) (2,958 votes)
9 Shaina Smith (PPA) (889 votes)
10 Natalio Wheatley (PPA) (785 votes)
11 Bertrand Lettsome (IND) (476 votes)
12 Elton Callwood (PPA) (332 votes)
13 Khoy Smith (PPA) (198 votes)
14 Edmund Maduro (IND) (122 votes)
15 Lionel Penn (IND) (99 votes)
16 Eileen Baronville (IND) (81 votes)

(IND) = Independent candidate
(NDP) = National Democratic Party candidate
(PPA) = People’s Patriotic Alliance
(VIP) = Virgin Islands Party candidate

Orlando Smith, being the leader of the victorious National Democratic Party, was invited by the Governor to form a new Government as the Premier.

Orlando Smith also retained his record as being the only politician to be elected as an at-large candidate at every single election in the British Virgin Islands since at-large candidates have been allowed to stand.

New Government[edit]

On 9 November 2011, the Governor, Mr Boyd McCleary officially appointed Orlando Smith as the Premier under section 52(1) the constitution. He becomes the third person in BVI political history to serve two non-consecutive terms of office as Chief Minister/Premier, and the fourth to win more than one general election as party leader

On the same day the first cabinet was sworn in under Orlando Smith.

  • In addition to serving as the Territory’s Premier Honourable Orlando Smith was appointed Minister of Finance and Tourism.
  • Honourable Kendrick Pickering was appointed Deputy Premier, and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour.
  • Honourable Myron Walwyn was appointed Minister of Education and Culture.
  • Honourable Mark Vanterpool was appointed Minister of Communications and Works.
  • Honourable Ronnie Skelton was appointed Minister of Health and Social Development.

Sources[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier Announces November 7 As General Elections Day". Platinum News BVI. 2011-09-23. 
  2. ^ "Loud celebration begins in Road Town!". Virgin Islands News Online. Retrieved 2011-11-08.