Orlando Smith

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The Honourable
Orlando Smith
D. Orlando Smith (cropped).jpg
Premier of the British Virgin Islands
Assumed office
9 November 2011
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorJohn Duncan
Augustus Jaspert
Preceded byRalph O'Neal
In office
17 June 2003 – 23 August 2007
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorTom Macan
Dancia Penn (Acting)
David Pearey
Preceded byRalph O'Neal
Succeeded byRalph O'Neal (Premier)
Personal details
Born (1944-08-28) 28 August 1944 (age 74)
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Political partyNational Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Lorna Smith

Daniel Orlando Smith, OBE (born 28 August 1944) is the current Premier of the British Virgin Islands.[1] He also formerly served as Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands (as the role was formerly known before the 2007 constitution was adopted) from 2003 to 2007.[2] He first won the office when his National Democratic Party won the 2003 general election, being the party's first victory at a general election in its history.

Orlando Smith originally qualified as a physician, specialising in obstetrics, and was the territory's chief medical officer for many years both before and after entering politics.[3][4] He entered politics at a relatively late stage of his career, being first elected to the Legislative Council of the British Virgin Islands (now called the House of Assembly) in the 1999 general election, as the head of the newly formed National Democratic Party (NDP). In 2003, Smith led the NDP to victory, defeating the ruling Virgin Islands Party for the first time since 1983 in the 2003 general election.

However, in the 2007 general election, Smith and his party suffered a defeat at the hands of the Virgin Islands Party, retaining only two seats (one of which was Smith's) out of 13 elected seats. Smith barely retained his seat as the at-large candidate, receiving the fourth largest number of votes. Smith remained in the legislature as the head of the opposition.

In the 2011 general election Smith and the National Democratic Party rebounded, and won an overall majority. Accordingly, he was invited by the governor to form a new government. He followed that with a second successive victory in the 2015 general election becoming only the second politician in the Territory to win three general elections as party leader.[5] He passed Willard Wheatley as the third longest serving head of Government in British Virgin Islands history on 14 February 2016. However, he would need to win a fourth term to surpass Ralph O'Neal in second place.[6]

During his political career, Smith has stood in each election as an "at large" candidate, and so is not affiliated with any individual political district. In each election that he had stood in other than the 2007 election, he had garnered more votes than any other at large candidate (under the current political system in the British Virgin Islands, the four at large candidates with the highest number of votes are elected to the Legislative Council together the representatives of each of the political districts; each voter casts up to five votes - one for the representative of their district, and up to four for the at large candidates).

In June 2018 Smith indicated he would be stepping down and not contesting the next general election.[7]

Electoral history[edit]

D. Orlando Smith electoral history
Year District Party Votes Percentage Winning/losing margin Result
1999 At-large National Democratic Party 3,094 12.93% +1,997* Won (1st)
2003 At-large National Democratic Party 4,300 14.72% +1,026* Won (1st)
2007 At-large National Democratic Party 3,549 12.29% +18* Won (4th)
2011 At-large National Democratic Party 5,117 14.7% +1,247* Won (1st)
2015 At-large National Democratic Party 5,753 15.95% +2,333* Won (2nd)
* For at-large candidates (general elections) who won, this is the vote differential from the 5th placed candidate (i.e. the candidate with the highest number of votes who was not elected). For at-large candidates who lose, this is the vote differential from the 4th placed candidate (i.e. the candidate with the lowest number of votes who was elected).

Political Offices[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ralph O'Neal
Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands
Succeeded by
Ralph O'Neal
as Premier of the British Virgins Islands
Premier of the British Virgin Islands
Preceded by
E. Walwyn Brewley
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Ralph O'Neal
Preceded by
Ralph O'Neal
Leader of the Opposition


  1. ^ "Premier's Office". Government of the Virgin Islands. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  2. ^ Government changes in the BVI
  3. ^ "Dr. the Honourable D Orlando Smith, OBE, MHA". Government of the Virgin Islands. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE, MHA". Oyster BVI. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  5. ^ After Lavity Stoutt. Ralph O'Neal won two terms as leader, and served most of a third term when Lavity Stoutt died in 1995.
  6. ^ This would occur on 23 December 2019, but the latest date upon which the next general election can be held following the 2015 election is 22 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Premier not seeking re-election as NDP leader". BVI News. 19 June 2018.