Premier of the Virgin Islands

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Premier of the Virgin Islands
Coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands.svg
D. Orlando Smith (cropped).jpg
Dr. Orlando Smith

since 9 November 2011
Style The Honourable
Appointer Governor of the Virgin Islands
Term length At the Governor's pleasure (normally 4 years)
Formation April 1967
First holder

Hamilton Lavity Stoutt

as Chief Minister
Website Office of the Premier
Coat of arms of the British Virgin Islands.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the British Virgin Islands

The Premier of the Virgin Islands[1] is the head of government for the British Virgin Islands. As a British Overseas Territory, the Premier is appointed by the Governor on behalf of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II.[2] Until 2007, the head of government was known as the Chief Minister.[3]

The current Premier is Hon Dr Orlando Smith, OBE. He is presently serving his third term as Premier.[4]

Since the 1967 constitution was adopted, only five people have served as Premier of Chief Minister, and each of them except for Cyril Romney has served at least two full terms. Lavity Stoutt is the only former leader to have won more than two general elections however (he won five), and Stoutt and Willard Wheatley are the only two former leaders to have served two consecutive full terms (Ralph O'Neal also served two consecutive terms, but the first of those was the remaining part of a term after Stoutt's death).

List of Chief Ministers and Premiers[edit]

To date, only six different people (all men) have held the office of Chief Minister or Premier. Of those six, all except one (Cyril Romney) have been elected to the office on at least two occasions. All six have also served as Leader of the Opposition. The longest serving has been Lavity Stoutt, who was elected as Chief Minister five times (although he only served a small part of his fifth term prior to his death in office) and served as Chief Minister for a total of 16 years, 270 days.

Term Duration Incumbent Party Title Notes
Start End
14 April 1967 2 June 1971 4 years, 49 days H. Lavity Stoutt UP Chief Minister 1st Term
2 June 1971 12 November 1979 8 years, 163 days Willard Wheatley DP, UP[5] Chief Minister 1st Term and 2nd Term
12 November 1979 11 November 1983 3 years, 364 days H. Lavity Stoutt VIP Chief Minister 2nd Term
11 November 1983 1 October 1986 2 years, 324 days Cyril Romney UP Chief Minister
1 October 1986 14 May 1995 8 years, 225 days H. Lavity Stoutt VIP Chief Minister 3rd Term, 4th Term and 5th Term (died in office)
15 May 1995 17 June 2003 8 years, 33 days Ralph T. O'Neal VIP Chief Minister 1st Term (partial) and 2nd Term
17 June 2003 23 August 2007 4 years, 67 days D. Orlando Smith NDP Chief Minister 1st Term
23 August 2007 9 November 2011 4 years, 78 days Ralph T. O'Neal VIP Premier 3rd Term (2nd full Term)
9 November 2011 Incumbent 4 years, 96 days (continuing) D. Orlando Smith NDP Premier 2nd Term and 3rd Term
Duration of terms are calculated as commencing on the date of the election; not the actual subsequent date of appointment by the Governor, which is usually a few days later.

Party affiliations are as follows:


  1. ^ While the territory is commonly known as the 'British Virgin Islands', her official name is simply 'Virgin Islands'.
  2. ^ The Virgin Islands Constitution Order 2007 (SI 2007/1678)
  3. ^ The Virgin Islands (Constitution) Order 1976 (SI 1976/2145), as amended by 1979/1603, 1982/151, 1991/2871 and 1994/1638
  4. ^ Technically during his first term he was Chief Minister.
  5. ^ Wheatley led a coalition of himself plus the VI Democratic Party in the 1971 election and then another coalition of himself plus the United Party in the 1975 election.