Statistics don’t vote, people do, warns PM Gonsalves
PRIME MINISTER Dr Ralph Gonsalves has warned St Clair Leacock, New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in Central Kingstown to be careful when he talks about having superior voting numbers in a constituency.
Gonsalves was speaking at a political rally when he noted that Leacock is boasting about his political strength in the constituency of Central Kingstown, but things can change easily as is evident with what happened to the NDP’s Parnell Campbell in 1998.
“In 1994 somebody who is far better than Leacock, Parnell Campbell scored 61per cent of the votes in the same constituency as Leacock, and by 1998 Labour took it from Parnell, four years later,” the Unity Labour Party (ULP) leader said.
He added… “so Leacock, watch your statistics, statistics ain’t voting, is people who voting. I just want to give you that reminder,” said Dr Gonsalves.
In 2015, there were 6644 registered voters in Central Kingstown. Leacock won with 2,600 votes against the ULP’s Berisford Phillips who got 2,084 votes.
In 1994, General elections were held on Monday, February 21. The NDP, led by Prime Minister James Mitchell was opposed by an alliance formed by the St Vincent Labour Party (SVLP) headed by Vincent Beache and the Movement for National Unity (MNU), headed by Ralph Gonsalves.
The opposition alliance matched the ruling party by fielding 15 candidates, nine by the SVLP and six by the MNU.
The NDP’s parliamentary majority was reduced on polling day as its total fell from 15 seats to 12. Opposition members returned included Beache and MNU leader Ralph Gonsalves.
Prime Minister Mitchell embarked on his third five-year term at the head of an 12-member Cabinet.
Beache was confirmed as the official Leader of the Opposition, and in September 1994, the MNU and SVLP announced their formal merger as the Unity Labour Party (ULP).
That year, in Central Kingstown, there were 4804 registered voters. 1637 voted for Parnell Campbell of the NDP and 956 voted for Randolph Russell of the SVLP.
Four years later in 1998, General Elections were held on Monday, June 15. In Central Kingstown, there were 5,792 registered voters, 1,558 voted for Parnell Campbell of the NDP and 2,006 voted for the ULP’s Ken Boyea who sent Campbell into political retirement.