2020 Jamaican general election

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2020 Jamaican general election

← 2016 3 September 2020 2025 →

All 63 seats in the Jamaica House of Representatives
32 seats needed for a majority
Turnout37%[1] (Decrease 11 pp)
  First party Second party
  Andrew Holness Press (cropped).jpg Peter David Phillips (politician) (cropped).png
Leader Andrew Holness Peter Phillips
Party JLP PNP
Leader since 23 October 2011 3 April 2017
Leader's seat St Andrew West Central St Andrew East Central
Last election 32 seats, 50.1% 31 seats, 49.7%
Seats won
49 / 63
14 / 63
Seat change Increase 17 Decrease 17
Popular vote 406,764 305,157
Percentage
57.0%
42.8%
Swing Increase 6.9pp Decrease 6.9pp

Jamaica parliamentary election map 2020.svg
Map of result by constituency. All constituencies are numbered, with labels at the bottom.

Prime Minister before election

Andrew Holness
JLP

Subsequent Prime Minister

Andrew Holness
JLP

Coat of arms of Jamaica.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Jamaica
Judiciary
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General elections were held in Jamaica on Thursday, 3 September 2020[2] to elect 63 members of Parliament. As the constitution stipulates a five-year parliamentary term,[3] the next elections were not expected until between 25 February and 10 June 2021. However, Prime Minister Andrew Holness called early elections to ensure a united response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On the advice of Holness, Governor General Patrick Allen dissolved Parliament on 13 August 2020.[4]

The result was a victory for the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, which received 57% of the vote and won 49 seats; the People's National Party remained the opposition party, losing 16 seats.[5] Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2019–2020 dengue fever epidemic, voter turnout was only 37%,[6] the lowest in an election since 1983.[7]

Background[edit]

Prior to the election, the Jamaica Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, formed a majority government. The largest opposition party was the People's National Party, led by Peter Phillips. Either the Jamaica Labour Party or the People's National Party have been in power since universal suffrage was introduced in 1944.[8]

Electoral system[edit]

The 63 members of the House of Representatives are elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting.[9] Voters must be 18 years and over and be a citizen of Jamaica or a Commonwealth citizen.[10]

The leader of the party commanding a majority of support in the House of Representatives is called on by the Governor General to form a government as Prime Minister,[11] while the leader of the largest group or coalition not in government becomes the Leader of the Opposition.[12]

Campaign[edit]

Only two parties registered to contest the election, the Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party, and each nominated candidates in all 63 constituencies. The two parties agreed to participate in three televised debates hosted by the Jamaica Debates Commission.[13]

The People's National Party campaigned for a referendum on removing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.[14]

On 15 August 2020, the pastors of the Christian right Jamaica Progressive Party announced that the party would not contest the elections due to lack of time to prepare.[15]

Contesting parties[edit]

Party Position Ideology Leader
(since)
Last election At dissolution Contested
Jamaica Labour Party Centre-right Nationalism[16][17][18]
Fiscal conservatism[19]
Populism
Conservatism[20][21][22]
Republicanism
Fabianism (originally)[18]
Andrew Holness
(January 2010)
32 / 63 (51%)
34 / 63 (54%)
63
People's National Party Centre-left Social democracy
Democratic socialism
Populism
Republicanism[23]
Peter Phillips
(November 2017)
31 / 63 (49%)
29 / 63 (46%)
63

Slogans and songs[edit]

Party Slogan Official song
JLP "Build back stronger."[24]

#GreenLight

PNP "Building your Jamaica."[25]

Building Your Jamaica: #VotePNP2020

Incumbent MPs not seeking re-election[edit]

Seven members of parliament did not stand for re-election:[26]

Retiring incumbent Electoral District Term in office Reason Date announced Replaced as MP by
Robert Pickersgill PNP Saint Catherine North Western 1989-2020 Not standing 22 August 2017[27] Hugh Graham
Evon Redman PNP Saint Elizabeth North Eastern 2016–2020 Not standing 10 May 2018[28] Delroy Slowley
Derrick Kellier PNP Saint James Southern 1987–2020 Not standing 28 May 2018[29] Homer Davis
Ronald Thwaites PNP Kingston Central 1997–2020 Not standing 22 May 2019[30] Donovan Williams
Noel Arscott PNP Clarendon South Western 2007–2020 Not standing 14 September 2019[31] Luthon Cousins
Shahine Robinson JLP Saint Ann North Eastern 2001–2020 Died in office 29 May 2020[32] Marsha Smith
Leslie Campbell JLP Saint Catherine North Eastern 2016–2020 Not standing 26 June 2020[33] Kerensia Morrison

Candidates[edit]

Candidate nominations were finalised on nomination day, 18 August 2020.[2] The full candidate list is presented below,[34] along with the incumbent candidates before the election.[35] MPs who are not standing for re-election are marked (†). Government ministers are in bold,[36] and party leaders are in italics.

Clarendon Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP Other
Clarendon Central Michael Henry Zuleika Jess Michael Henry
Clarendon North Central Robert Nesta Morgan Desmond Brennan Pearnel Charles
Clarendon North Western Phillip Henriquez Richard Azan Merrick Cohen (Ind.) Richard Azan
Clarendon Northern Dwight Sibblies Horace Dalley Horace Dalley
Clarendon South Eastern Pearnel Charles Jr Patricia Duncan Sutherland Pearnel Charles Jr
Clarendon South Western Kent Gammon Luthon Cousins † Noel Arscott

Hanover Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP
Hanover Eastern Dave Brown Wavell Hinds Dave Brown
Hanover Western Tamika Davis Ian Hayles Ian Hayles

Kingston Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP
Kingston Central Donovan Williams Imani Duncan-Price † Ronald Thwaites
Kingston East & Port Royal Egwugwu Priestly Phillip Paulwell Phillip Paulwell
Kingston Western Desmond McKenzie Joseph Witter Desmond McKenzie

Manchester Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP Other
Manchester Central Rhoda Moy Crawford Peter Bunting Rohan Chung (Ind.) Peter Bunting
Manchester North Eastern Audley Shaw Donald Jackson Audley Shaw
Manchester North Western Damion Young Mikael Phillips Mikael Phillips
Manchester Southern Robert Chin Michael Stewart Michael Stewart

Portland Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP
Portland Eastern Ann-Marie Vaz Bishop Purcell Jackson Ann-Marie Vaz
Portland Western Daryl Vaz Valerie Neita Robertson Daryl Vaz

Saint Andrew Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP
Saint Andrew East Central Jodian Myrie Peter Phillips Peter Phillips
Saint Andrew East Rural Juliet Holness Joan Gordon-Webley Juliet Holness
Saint Andrew Eastern Fayval Williams Venesha Phillips Fayval Williams
Saint Andrew North Central Karl Samuda O'Neil Lynch Karl Samuda
Saint Andrew North Eastern Delroy Chuck David Tulloch Delroy Chuck
Saint Andrew North Western Nigel Clarke Rohan Banks Nigel Clarke
Saint Andrew South Eastern Kari Douglas Julian Robinson Julian Robinson
Saint Andrew South Western Moureen Lorne Angela Brown-Burke Angela Brown-Burke
Saint Andrew Southern Victor Hyde Mark Golding Mark Golding
Saint Andrew West Central Andrew Holness Patrick Roberts Andrew Holness
Saint Andrew West Rural Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn Krystal Tomlinson Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn
Saint Andrew Western Dorlan Francis Anthony Hylton Anthony Hylton

Saint Ann Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP Other
Saint Ann North Eastern Marsha Smith Keith Brown Vacant
Saint Ann North Western Krystal Lee Dayton Campbell Peter Shand (Ind.) Dayton Campbell
Saint Ann South Eastern Delroy Granston Lisa Hanna Lisa Hanna
Saint Ann South Western Zavia Mayne Valenton Wint Zavia Mayne

Saint Catherine Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP Other
Saint Catherine Central Olivia Grange Maurice Westney Olivia Grange
Saint Catherine East Central Alando Terrelonge Raymond Pryce Alando Terrelonge
Saint Catherine Eastern Dwight Pecoo Denise Daley Denise Daley
Saint Catherine North Central Natalie Campbell Rodriques Natalie Neita-Headley John Henry (Ind.)
Lloyd Smith (Ind.)
Natalie Neita-Headley
Saint Catherine North Eastern Kerensia Morrison Oswest Senior-Smith † Leslie Campbell
Saint Catherine North Western Newton Amos Hugh Graham Gene Guthrie (Ind.) † Robert Pickersgill
Saint Catherine South Central Andrew Wheatley Kurt Matthews Andrew Wheatley
Saint Catherine South Eastern Robert Miller Colin Fagan Colin Fagan
Saint Catherine South Western Everald Warmington Kurt Waul Upton Blake (Ind.) Everald Warmington
Saint Catherine Southern Delroy Dobney Fitz Jackson Fitz Jackson
Saint Catherine West Central Christopher Tufton Kenyama Brown Christopher Tufton

Saint Elizabeth Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP
Saint Elizabeth North Eastern Delroy Slowley Basil White † Evon Redman
Saint Elizabeth North Western William J.C. Hutchinson Ryan Keating William J.C. Hutchinson
Saint Elizabeth South Western Floyd Green Ewan Stephenson Floyd Green
Saint Elizabeth South Eastern Franklyn Witter Dwaine Spencer Franklyn Witter

Saint James Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP Other
Saint James Central Heroy Clarke Andre Hylton Ras-Astor Black (Ind.) Heroy Clarke
Saint James East Central Edmund Bartlett Michael Hemmings Edmund Bartlett
Saint James North Western Horace Chang George Hamilton Horace Chang
Saint James Southern Homer Davis Walton Small † Derrick Kellier
Saint James West Central Marlene Malahoo Forte Andre Haughton Marlene Malahoo Forte

Saint Mary Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP
Saint Mary Central Lennon Richards Morais Guy Morais Guy
Saint Mary South Eastern Norman Dunn Shane Alexis Norman Dunn
Saint Mary Western Robert Montague Jason Stanford Robert Montague

Saint Thomas Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP
Saint Thomas Eastern Michelle Charles Fenton Ferguson Fenton Ferguson
Saint Thomas Western James Robertson Marsha Francis James Robertson

Trelawny Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP Other
Trelawny Northern Tova Hamilton Victor Wright Jnr Genieve Dawkins (Ind.) Victor Wright
Trelawny Southern Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert Lloyd Gillings Richard Sharpe (Ind.) Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert

Westmoreland Parish[edit]

Electoral District Candidates Incumbent
JLP PNP Other
Westmoreland Central George Wright Dwayne Vaz Torraino Beckford (Ind.)
Don Foote (Ind.)[b 1]
Dwayne Vaz
Westmoreland Eastern[b 2] Daniel Lawrence Luther Buchanan Haile Mika'el (Ind.) Luther Buchanan
Westmoreland Western Morland Wilson Wykeham McNeill Wykeham McNeill
  1. ^ Foote is a JLP member contesting the election independently as the "Jamaica Abolitionist Movement".[37]
  2. ^ The initial count ended in a tie that was decided in favour of incumbent Luther Buchanan. However, Daniel Lawrence was declared the winner after a recount.[38]

Marginal seats[edit]

The following lists identify and rank seats using the vote margin by which the party's candidate finished behind the winning candidate in the 2015 election. This vote margin is given as a percentage of all eligible voters in the district.

For information purposes only, seats that have changed hands through subsequent by elections have been noted. Seats whose members have changed party allegiance are ignored.

Marginal seats by party (with winning parties and margins from the 2016 Jamaican general election)
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) People's National Party (PNP)
Marginal
1 Saint Mary South Eastern[a 1] 0.02% 1 Saint Catherine North Eastern 0.53%
2 Saint James Southern 0.24% 2 Saint Andrew Eastern 0.62%
3 Saint Ann North Western 1.18% 3 Saint Elizabeth South Eastern 0.69%
4 Trelawny Northern 1.24% 4 Saint Thomas Western 1.08%
5 Saint Catherine South Eastern 1.49% 5 Saint Ann South Western 1.34%
6 Westmoreland Central 2.70% 6 Hanover Eastern 1.44%
7 Saint Catherine North Western 3.05% 7 Saint Andrew East Rural 1.83%
8 Manchester Central 3.17% 8 Saint Catherine East Central 1.97%
9 Clarendon Northern 3.21% 9 Clarendon North Central 2.42%
10 Clarendon North Western 3.57% 10 Clarendon South Eastern 2.44%
11 Manchester Southern 3.77% 11 Saint Elizabeth North Western 4.34%
12 Westmoreland Western 4.49% 12 Saint James West Central 4.67%
13 Saint Catherine North Central 4.59% 13 Saint Andrew West Rural 5.69%
14 Saint Elizabeth North Eastern 4.79% 14 Manchester North Eastern 5.86%
15 Hanover Western 4.82% 15 Saint Elizabeth South Western 6.81%
16 Saint Thomas Eastern 5.41% 16 Saint James Central 6.85%
17 Kingston Central 5.78% 17 Saint Andrew West Central 7.05%
18 Portland Eastern[a 2] 6.62% 18 Portland Western 7.14%
19 Clarendon South Western 6.67% 19 Saint Catherine South Western 7.43%
20 Manchester North Western 6.75% 20 Saint Ann North Eastern 7.83%
21 Saint Mary Central 7.10% 21 Saint James East Central 8.06%
22 Saint Catherine Southern 7.12% 22 Saint Andrew North Western 8.47%
23 Saint Andrew East Central 7.44% 23 Saint Mary Western 9.80%
24 Saint Catherine Eastern 7.61% 24 Trelawny Southern 10.70%
25 Saint Andrew South Eastern 9.78% 25 Saint James North Western 11.85%
26 Saint Andrew Western 10.43% 26 Saint Andrew North Eastern 12.05%
27 Westmoreland Eastern 10.52% 27 Saint Andrew North Central 12.39%
28 Saint Ann South Eastern 10.98% 28 Saint Catherine West Central 13.43%
29 Kingston East and Port Royal 25.20% 29 Clarendon Central 15.33%
30 Saint Andrew Southern 36.37% 30 Saint Catherine South Central 20.47%
31 Saint Andrew South Western 40.79% 31 Saint Catherine Central 24.94%
Safe 32 Kingston Western 34.83%
Safe
Source: General Election 2016 - Electoral Commission of Jamaica
  1. ^ Later gained by the JLP in a by-election on October 30, 2017, by a margin of 36.26% over the PNP.
  2. ^ Later gained by the JLP in a by-election on April 4, 2019, by a margin of 1.62% over the PNP.

Opinion polls[edit]

Don Anderson, CEO of Market Research Services Limited, Larren Peart, founder and CEO of Bluedot Data Intelligence Limited and Bill Johnson of Johnson's Survey Research Limited Inc have commissioned opinion polling for the general election regularly sampling the electorates' opinions.

Date Pollster Sample
size
JLP PNP Other Lead
3 September 2020 2020 general election 57.1 42.8 0.1 14.3
21–24 August 2020 RJR Gleaner Group/Don Anderson poll 37 25 38 12
21–23 August 2020 Jamaica Observer/Bill Johnson poll 1,000 37 23 40 14
20 July–6 August 2020 Nationwide News Network/Bluedot poll 52 34 14 18
23 July–3 August 2020 RJR Gleaner Group/Don Anderson poll 36 20 44 16
9–12 July 2020 Jamaica Observer/Bill Johnson poll 1,200 36 17 47 19
13–20 June 2020 Mello TV/Bill Johnson poll 1,200 38 19 43 19
12–15 March 2020 Jamaica Observer/Bill Johnson poll 1,200 33 19 48 14
8–18 February 2020 RJR Gleaner Group/Don Anderson poll 1,038 30 22 48 8
2–19 December 2019 Nationwide News Network/Bluedot poll 56 44 0 12
7 August 2019 Don Anderson poll 35 30 35 5
2–4 August 2019 One PNP/Bill Johnson poll 1,000 34 32 34 2
28 March 2019 RJR Gleaner Group/Don Anderson poll 1,003 29 18 53 11
12 March 2018 RJR Gleaner Group/Don Anderson poll 26 19 55 6
25 February 2016 2016 general election 50.1 49.7 0.2 0.4

CEAC Solutions polling[edit]

These polls are used internally by the PNP.[39]

Date Pollster Sample
size
JLP PNP Other Lead
3 September 2020 2020 general election 57.1 42.8 0.1 14.3
28-29 August 2020 CEAC Solutions poll 366 41 44 15 3
25 February 2016 2016 general election 50.1 49.7 0.2 0.4

Results[edit]

The ECJ reported that 97% of the polling stations had opened by 7:00 AM, and the remaining stations were open by 8:00 AM.[40] The polls closed at 5:00 PM.[41] Election observers included the EU delegation to Jamaica [42] and a domestic NGO, Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE).[43]

Before 10:00 PM, preliminary results indicated that the JLP had won 44 seats; for the first time since 1967, the JLP was re-elected while contesting all seats.[44] PNP leader Phillips did not give a concession speech, but called Holness privately to offer congratulations.[45] Phillips resigned as PNP leader on 4 September 2020.[46] The full preliminary count indicated a total of 49 seats for the JLP.[47] A tie in Westmoreland Eastern was declared to be won by the JLP after a recount.[38]

PM Holness was sworn in for a new term by Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen on 7 September 2020. The ceremony, which was held at King's House, was restricted to 32 people to comply with public health measures.[48]

Jamaica House of Representatives 2020.svg
Party Votes % +/– Seats +/–
Jamaica Labour Party 407,753 57.04 +6.94 49 +17
People's National Party 305,864 42.79 –6.90 14 –17
Independents 1,191 0.17 –0.04 0 0
Total 714,808 100 63 0
Valid ballots 714,808
Invalid/blank ballots
Total ballots cast 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,913,410 ~37
Source: Electoral Commission
Voting results
Jamaica Labour Party
57.04%
People's National Party
42.79%
Others
0.17%
Seat distribution
Jamaica Labour Party
76.19%
People's National Party
23.81%
Others
0%

References[edit]

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