Ralph T. O'Neal
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2011)|
- For the WWI ace aviator, see Ralph Ambrose O'Neill
|O'Neal (right) being appointed as Premier by Governor David Pearey.|
|Premier of the British Virgin Islands|
23 August 2007 – 9 November 2011
Inez Archibald (Acting)
William Boyd McCleary
|Preceded by||Orlando Smith (Chief Minister)|
|Succeeded by||Orlando Smith|
15 May 1995 – 17 June 2003
|Governor||Peter Alfred Penfold
Elton Georges (Acting)
|Preceded by||Hamilton Lavity Stoutt|
|Succeeded by||Orlando Smith|
15 December 1933 |
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
|Political party||Virgin Islands Party|
|Alma mater||University of Oxford|
Ralph Telford O'Neal, OBE (born 15 December 1933) is a politician who presently serves as leader of the opposition in the British Virgin Islands. He has formerly served as Chief Minister (when the office was so titled) and also as Premier of the British Virgin Islands. He was the first person to be appointed to the newly titled office of Premier by the Governor on 22 August 2007 under the Constitution of the British Virgin Islands adopted in 2007 after leading the Virgin Islands Party to a landslide victory in the 2007 general election two days earlier. He rescinded the position on 7 November 2011 after the Virgin Islands Party lost its majority following the 2011 general elections.
His combined 12 years as head of the elected Government is the second longest in the British Virgin Islands, behind only Lavity Stoutt, a man whom he succeeded when the latter died in office on 14 May 1995. He then served as Chief Minister until the 1999 general election which he won. He would later lose the 2003 general election and would then serve the next four years at leader of the opposition before his victory in the 2007 general election.
He remains the leader of the Virgin Islands Party, and has held a seat in the House of Assembly, formerly the Legislative Council continuously since 1971. He is the longest serving elected politician in the British Virgin Islands, having now served for 42 years in elected office (he broke the previous record held by Lavity Stoutt in 2009).
Like most BVI politicians, Ralph O'Neal has "crossed the floor". In 1983 he joined the ruling United Party (UP), and contested the 1986 general election on behalf of the UP. When the UP lost, he was, for two years, leader of the opposition, but he rejoined the VIP in 1988 to take up a Ministerial position in Lavity Stoutt's government and re-joined the VIP. He also contested the 1971 general election unsuccessfully on behalf of the VI Democratic Party.
He was educated at University of Oxford where he studied Economics. He is also property owner and developer in the British Virgin Islands. Apart from his property investments, O'Neal has had a number of other commercial interests during his life before serving in the House of Assembly under the Ralph O'Neal Group of Companies.
|1971||7th District||VI Democratic Party||--||--||--||Lost
|1983||9th District||Virgin Islands Party||unopposed||Won|
|1986||9th District||United Party||337||47%||+91||Won|
|1990||9th District||Virgin Islands Party||445||50.9%||+28||Won|
|1995||9th District||Virgin Islands Party||534||66.1%||+282||Won|
|1999||9th District||Virgin Islands Party||617||66.2%||+317||Won|
|2003||9th District||Virgin Islands Party||596||60.8%||+226||Won|
|2007||9th District||Virgin Islands Party||476||47%||+9||Won|
|2011||9th District||Virgin Islands Party||565||49.3%||+28||Won|
Hamilton Lavity Stoutt
|Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands
as Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands
|Premier of the British Virgin Islands