Jamaica’s Ruling Party Keeps Seat in By-Election

JLP leader and Prime Minister Andrew Holness (left) with victorious candidate Dr Nigel Clarke. (Photo: Jamaica Gleaner)


KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday March 6, 2018 – The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has retained the St Andrew North West seat, following their candidate’s resounding victory in yesterday’s by-election in the constituency.

Preliminary results show the JLP’s Dr Nigel Clarke receiving 61 per cent of the vote (4,448 votes) to the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Keisha Hayle’s 39 per cent (2,812), to take over as MP for the area that had been represented by Derrick Smith since 1989, until his recent retirement from politics.

The economist and businessman’s win maintains the JLP’s 33-30 majority in the House of Representatives.

“Today, as elected Member of Parliament by the democratic will and choice of the people of St Andrew North Western, from here on I devote my energies, my skills and my talents, towards advancing the interest of the people of the constituency,” he said after being declared winner.

Clarke, who serves on the Government’s Economic Growth Council and is chairman of the National Housing Trust, told JLP supporters he would get to work right away.

“I have listened and I have heard and I understand your concerns, and with the support and help of all of my colleagues on the platform I’m going to work on your behalf. We went out and we asked you to ring the bell for Nigel, and that is what you did; you rang the bell for Nigel. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) said the voter turnout was around 24 per cent, which was not unusual for by-elections.

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