National Democratic Party (British Virgin Islands)

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National Democratic Party
Leader Orlando Smith
Founded 1999
Ideology Social democracy
UK affiliation none
House of Assembly
11 / 13

The National Democratic Party (or NDP) is a political party in the British Virgin Islands. It was founded in 1999. In the 2011 general election the NDP won a majority of seats and forms the present elected Government of the Territory; it defended and increased its majority in the 2015 general election. The party has only have one leader since its inception: Orlando Smith, who is also the current Premier of the British Virgin Islands.

Prior to 2011 the party most recently held power after the 2003 general election held on 16 June 2003, the party won 52.4% of popular votes and 8 out of 13 elected seats. It fought that campaign on a platform offering new leadership for the 21st century and promises to clean up corruption and victimisation. The NDP garned much credit during its time in office for taking a pro-active approach to the development of the offshore finance industry, working closely with the private sector in relation to a number of initiatives. Ultimately however, this was not sufficient to prevent a resounding defeat when it returned to the polls in 2007.

During the party's term of office following the 2003 election, the party's majority was cut to just one in May 2006 when the Hon. Alvin Christopher was removed from his position as Minister of Communications and Works, and at the next meeting of the legislative council he "crossed the floor" to sit with the opposition; both moves are believed to be related to differences of opinion in relation to the Telecommunications Bill 2006 and telecoms liberalisation programme in the British Virgin Islands generally, although neither side has given any public indication of this.[1] Mr Christopher subsequently ran as an independent against the NDP in the 2007 election, and was returned with a handsome majority. During the party's time in office, the loss of Mr Christopher was offset by Hon. Mark Vanterpool leaving the Virgin Islands Party to join the NDP.

Electoral results[edit]

National Democratic Party electoral history
Year Leader Seats (Available) Percentage of Vote Result
1999 Orlando Smith 5 (13) 37.3% Lost
Virgin Islands Party
2003 Orlando Smith 8 (13) 52.4% Won
Majority of 3
2007 Orlando Smith 2 (13) 39.6% Lost
Virgin Islands Party
2011 Orlando Smith 9 (13) 52.5% Won
Majority of 6
2015 Orlando Smith 11 (13) 60.2%* Won
Majority of 9
* Record for the highest percentage of votes obtained by a winning party in a general election.