Saint Lucian general election, 2006

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The Saint Lucian general election of 2006 took place in Saint Lucia on 11 December 2006. The election was fought between the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and the United Workers Party (UWP) which between them dominated politics in Saint Lucia. The results saw the governing Saint Lucia Labour Party lose the election to the United Workers Party led by John Compton, which gained eight seats to hold an eleven to six majority.

Background[edit]

The last two elections in 1997 and 2001 had seen victories for the Saint Lucia Labour Party with the previous election in 2001 seeing them win 14 seats to only 3 for the United Workers Party.[1]

However in 2005 John Compton came out of retirement to become leader of the opposition United Workers Party again. Compton had led Saint Lucia to independence in 1979 and then been Prime Minister from 1982 until he resigned in 1996.[2][3] Compton defeated Vaughan Lewis in an election for the leadership of the United Workers Party with Lewis later defecting from the UWP to fight the 2006 election for the Saint Lucia labour Party.[4]

A by-election in Castries Central in March 2006 was seen as starting a long campaign for the election due in December.[5] The by-election was won by an Independent candidate Richard Frederick in a seat which the Saint Lucia Labour Party had won in the last two elections.[6] Frederick would later join the United Workers Party and stood for the party in the general election.[5]

Campaign[edit]

2006 campaign poster for future Saint Lucian Prime Minister Stephenson King

In the campaign the United Workers Party focused on crime, which they saw as increasing, and promised to make it a priority if they were elected.[7] Their leader Compton pledged to tackle unemployment, which they said was to blame for much of the crime in Saint Lucia.[8] They also promised to revive the banana industry in Saint Lucia and accused the Saint Lucia Labour Party of corruption and nepotism.[9] However the age of the United Workers Party leader John Compton, at 81, became an issue with the Saint Lucia Labour Party calling on voters to not entrust the country to him.[10]

The governing Saint Lucia Labour Party defended their record in office and put the strong economic growth over the last few years at the centre of their campaign.[8] They also pledged to continue tackling crime in Saint Lucia and to bring in a mandatory capital punishment for anyone convicted of murder.[8] The Saint Lucia Labour Party received assistance in the campaign from the Prime Ministers of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica who both spoke in favour of the party at rallies.[11]

The police commissioner in Saint Lucia described the election as the most peaceful yet in Saint Lucia[5] with election monitors from CARICOM and the Organisation of American States observing the election.[12] Four opinion polls as the election neared showed differing results with each political party favoured by two of the polls.[5] There was controversy over the release of a poll two days before the election which strongly favoured the Saint Lucia Labour Party, with the United Workers Party describing it as a "laughing stock" as it had been conducted back on the 25 and 26 November.[13]

Election results[edit]

The results saw the United Workers Party gain a majority in the election, winning 11 of the 17 seats.[4] While the United Workers Party won a strong majority of the seats they were only around 2,000 votes, or 3%, ahead of the Saint Lucia Labour Party.[9] The election resulted in John Compton succeeding Kenny Anthony, and Compton became Prime Minister again at the age of 81.[2][7]

e • d Summary of the 11 December 2006 House of Assembly of Saint Lucia election results
Parties Votes % +/– Seats +/–
United Workers Party (UWP) 38,894 51.3 +13.5% 11 +8
Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) 36,604 48.3 –7.7% 6 –8
Independents 258 0.3 0
Total (turnout 58.5%) 75,756 100.0   17  
Sources: Summary election results – 11 Dec 2006, OAS

Constituency results[edit]

The seventeen constituency results in the election were as follows.[14]

Constituency Winner Party
Anse la Raye/Canaries Keith Mondesir United Workers Party gain
Babonneau Ezekiel Joseph United Workers Party gain
Castries Central Richard Frederick United Workers Party gain
Castries East Philip Pierre Saint Lucia Labour Party hold
Castries North Stephenson King United Workers Party gain
Castries South Robert Lewis Saint Lucia Labour Party hold
Castries South East Guy Joseph United Workers Party gain
Choiseul Rufus Bousquet United Workers Party gain
Dennery North Marcus Nicholas United Workers Party hold
Dennery South Edmund Estephane United Workers Party gain
Gros Islet Lenard Montoute United Workers Party gain
Laborie Alva Baptiste Saint Lucia Labour Party hold
Micoud North John Compton United Workers Party hold
Micoud South Arsene James United Workers Party hold
Soufriere Harold Dalson Saint Lucia Labour Party hold
Vieux Fort North Moses Jean Baptiste Saint Lucia Labour Party hold
Vieux Fort South Kenny Anthony Saint Lucia Labour Party hold

References[edit]

  1. ^ "St Lucia Gov't tipped for landslide third term". The Jamaica Observer. 2006-12-10. Retrieved 2009-05-20. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Sir John Compton". London: The Daily Telegraph. 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  3. ^ Pattullo, Polly (2007-09-09). "Sir John Compton". London: guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  4. ^ a b "UWP wins St Lucia polls". Caribbean360. 2006-12-12. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  5. ^ a b c d "ST LUCIA: The day of reckoning". Jamaica Gleaner. 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  6. ^ "St Lucia by-election victory for independent candidate". Caribbean Net News. 2006-03-14. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  7. ^ a b "Compton is back in power in St Lucia". BBC Online. 2006-12-12. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  8. ^ a b c "Independence hero claims victory". Caymanian Compass. 2006-12-12. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  9. ^ a b "Challenges for Compton in St Lucia's aftershock poll". The Jamaica Observer. 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2009-05-20. [dead link]
  10. ^ "ST LUCIA: Compton's age takes centre stage". Jamaica Gleaner. 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  11. ^ "After St Lucia, where next?". The Jamaica Observer. 2006-12-17. Retrieved 2009-05-20. [dead link]
  12. ^ "ST LUCIA: CARICOM, OAS to monitor polls". Jamaica Gleaner. 2006-11-21. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  13. ^ "ST LUCIA: Bill Johnson poll under fire". Jamaica Gleaner. 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  14. ^ "St Lucia legislative election of 11 December 2006". Psephos - Adam Carr's Election Archive. Retrieved 2009-05-20.