2020 Vincentian general election
15 seats in the House of Assembly
8 seats needed for a majority
|Administrative divisions (parishes)|
General elections were held in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on 5 November 2020. Nomination day was 20 October 2020. The result was a victory for the Unity Labour Party, its fifth in a row; the party won nine of the fifteen seats, gaining one seat. These elections marked the first time since 1998 that the party which received the most votes did not win the most seats.
The 15 elected members of the House of Assembly are elected in single-member constituencies using the first-past-the-post system. A further six members are appointed: four by the government and two by the opposition.
As the previous elections had been held in 2015, the current elections were constitutionally required to be held by March 2021. While the previous three elections had been held in December, PM Ralph Gonsalves chose to hold this election in November.
Several minor parties decided not to contest the elections. The SVG Party and the United Progressive Party both ended their campaigns before Nomination Day. The leader of the Democratic Republican Party, Anesia Baptiste, announced her resignation on 9 October; she also stated that the party would not participate in the upcoming elections.
|Slogan and Manifesto||Campaign Songs|
|Unity Labour Party (ULP)||Centre-left to left-wing||Democratic socialism
|"Lifting SVG higher."||Playlist available|
|New Democratic Party (NDP)||Centre-right||Conservatism
|"Let's get SVG working."||Playlist available|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Green Party (GP)||Left-wing||Environmentalism
|"VOTE GREEN for a strong economy and competent leadership."|
Unity Labour Party
The ULP campaigned for a record fifth term in power, with PM Gonsalves dubbing himself the "5-Star General". Gonsalves pointed to the Argyle International Airport and the Canouan Airport as examples of the party's record in improving infrastructure. He criticized the NDP for supporting Citizenship by investment (CBI), and later alleged that foreign strategists were directing the NDP campaign and spying on the ULP. In contrast to the "foreign influences" of the NDP, Gonsalves emphasized that the ULP's party manifesto had "come from the bowels of the people of this country, from our experiences and from our own creative minds and written by our own hands". He explained that new foreign investments in hotels and airports would allow the SVG to remain the sole country in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States without a CBI program.
Gonsalves' son Camillo, the incumbent East St. George MP, criticized the NDP for nominating a returning emigrant like Fitzgerald Bramble, rather than someone who had been living in the country more recently.
New Democratic Party
The new leader Godwin Friday criticized the ULP's cronyism and its inability to improve the country over its 19 years in power: while the ULP leaders benefited from government projects, the average citizen faced rising costs-of-living and an unemployment rate of over 30 percent. This situation led many young Vincentians to emigrate, further handicapping development. To combat this, Friday proposed several incentives, such as decreasing the national VAT rate and the interest rate on student loans and reforming the port customs system. He also proposed an increase in the minimum stipend for workers in the national service.
While the NDP had been advocating for the country to switch recognition from Taiwan to China since 2016, the party moderated its stance after meeting with Vincentians currently studying in Taiwan on scholarship. Instead, the party indicated that it would maintain ties with Taiwan in return for increased investment in SVG.
Shevern John, the NDP candidate for North Windward, was denied leave from her job as a schoolteacher in order to contest the election, a benefit specified in the collective bargaining agreement between the SVG Teacher's Union (SVGTU) and the Public Service Commission (PSC). She was forced to resign instead. In 2010, three teachers wanting to run as NDP candidates had also been forced to resign; the SVGTU obtained a court decision in the teachers' favour, but the PSC had not reinstated the teachers as of 2020.
SVG Green Party
In its statements, the GP criticized both the ULP and the NDP for relying heavily on the tourism industry. The party promised free university education and wireless internet for all citizens as well as Green economy initiatives in order to encourage more-sustainable economic growth and provide better jobs for the local population. The funding for these initiatives would initially come from abolishing loopholes such as the "Mustique Act", which granted the (mostly foreign) residents of Mustique exemptions from tax and customs duties. Being smaller than the other two parties, the GP signalled support for joining a coalition government.
33 candidates were nominated in total: 15 each from the ULP and the NDP, 2 from the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Green Party, and one ULP member running as an independent in South Leeward.
- ULP member Asordo Bennett is also running in this constituency as an independent.
|Unity Labour Party||New Democratic Party|
|Constituency||2015 majority||Constituency||2015 majority|
|1||North Leeward||0.21%||1||Central Leeward||5.13%|
|2||South Leeward||1.61%||2||North Windward||5.13%|
|3||East Kingstown||2.26%||3||East St. George||7.79%|
|4||West Kingstown||7.02%||4||West St. George||8.40%|
|5||Central Kingstown||7.77%||5||South Central Windward||10.16%|
|7||Northern Grenadines||34.44%||7||South Windward||12.58%|
|8||North Central Windward||42.84%|
|Source: 2015 SVG General Elections Report - Electoral Office|
For the first time since 1998, the ULP did not win the popular vote. However, the ULP saw their majority increase by one seat, North Leeward, which the ULP won by 7 votes. All other seats remained in the hands of the party previously holding them. The NDP candidate for North Leeward, Roland "Patel" Matthews, requested a recount. Some ballots from both sides were rejected in the recount; the final tally showed the ULP winning by 1 vote.
Gonsalves was sworn in for his fifth term on 7 November, with Montgomery Daniel sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister. The Governor-General, Susan Dougan, congratulated Gonsalves on his record win; she then reminded him to "create a structure for healing" society after the election, reaching out to opposition supporters as well as his own.
|New Democratic Party||32,899||50.33||6||–1|
|Unity Labour Party||32,415||49.59||9||+1|
|Source: Electoral Office|
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