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‘No way that we were going to lose’

‘No way that we were going to lose’

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It had been said that the constituency of West St George was one of the weakest seats for the Unity Labour Party (ULP) leading up to the December 9 general elections, but that proved to be nothing more than a rumour.

On Wednesday, the ULP’s Cecil ‘Ces’ McKie reclaimed that seat for a second term, defeating the New Democratic Party’s (NDP) Jules Ferdinand by 576 votes.{{more}}

Of the 6,880 voters registered in West St George, 4,850 persons voted, of which 4,827 were accepted, with 23 rejected. The ULP received 2,679 of those votes and the NDP 2,103. The Democratic Republican Party’s (DRP) Anesia Baptiste received 20 of these votes.

On Wednesday night after the results were announced, McKie, speaking from his constituency office in Arnos Vale said that polls conducted by the party before the elections showed that he would have won by at least 600 votes and that prediction manifested itself not perfectly, but close to the figure.

“The talk of me being one of the weaker candidates was just propaganda in some cases where the Opposition tried to attack us from every level and if something is repeated often enough it will become reality, but we countered that very early and we asked the question: ‘weaker seat based on what’? Some people said that we were going to lose West St George, based on what?”, said McKie on Wednesday night.

He noted that two polls that were conducted reflected the ULP leading in West St George by nine percentage points and other checks suggested they were 10 to 11 percentage points ahead.

He said that on the morning of December 9, when the voting started, he was very confident, as persons turned up to vote very early and, “seeing persons turning up at the polls early and knowing that they were our supporters was good.”

McKie, who held the position of Minister of Sports and Culture prior to the elections, said that he and his team paid a lot of attention to mobilization, transportation and communication and in his opinion, those are the three critical pillars on Election Day.

“We knew that we had it down pat because for weeks now we were going over the system we had in place, the protocols we had a place, and we knew that we had it down pat and we also knew that once we implemented that system effectively and efficiently on Election Day there was no way that we were going to lose”, stressed McKie who said that he never had a doubt that the ULP would have won.

“We felt the vibe that people did not want a change of Government therefore we knew that once we got our supporters and voters out on Election Day that we were going to be victorious.”

McKie said that going forward, he will continue to serve his constituency well and he has committed himself to the people, “and if you know my background and history you would know I come from a background of community service and therefore I always set myself a standard of reporting to the people.”

“I think it has been a real sweet victory particularly based on the fact that we are coming off of a third term into a fourth term where the global economic situation is not the best so therefore that would have reflected in the challenges in the economy so I think that the fourth victory, four in a row has been even sweeter because of that major achievement,” McKie offered.

Also commenting on election night was general secretary of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) Julian Francis. Surrounded by ULP supporters at the ULP’s Headquarters in Richmond Hill, Francis said that the ULP won by eight seats, while also increasing the popular votes and that speaks volumes.

“We do better than we did last time; that means government. We won because of the good hard work of the ULP,” said Francis.

The initial checks show that the ULP won the election with 52 per cent of the votes while the NDP received 47 per cent. Re-counts in the constituencies of Central Leeward and North Leeward were ongoing yesterday as Searchlight went to press.(LC)

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