By-Election To Be Called In Warwick North East

April 26, 2018 | 3 Comments

Following the resignation of OBA MP Jeff Baron, a by-election is expected to be called in Constituency 25 Warwick North East, and both political parties can be expected to challenge for the seat.

By-election Bermuda April 26 2018

By-Election To Be Called

The OBA confirmed that Mr Baron’s resignation will mean a by-election will be called for Warwick North East.

The Bermuda Constitution [PDF] says, “Whenever any person vacates his seat as a member of the House of Assembly for any reason other than a dissolution of the Legislature, an election to fill the vacancy shall be held within two months after the occurrence of the vacancy unless the Legislature is sooner dissolved or the date on which the Legislature will stand dissolved under the provisions of section 49[2] of this Constitution is less than four months after the occurrence of the vacancy.

The Parliamentary Election Act 1978 [PDF] states that the polling day in the case of a by-election must “be a day not earlier than twenty-eight days after the issue of the writ nor later than two months after the occurrence of the vacancy which occasioned the issue of the writ.”

Date Unknown At This Time

Until the writ is announced the date of the by-election is unknown, however when MPs have resigned in the past, the formal writ is generally announced about a week or two later.

To provide a comparison, the last three by-elections, held between 2014 and 2016, occurred approximately 6-8 weeks after the MP resigned.

One saw the resignation on November 4th, and by-election on December 20th, another had the by-election held on November 18th following a  resignation on September 23rd, while another saw a resignation in early December result in a by-election on February 4th.

Past Election Results

Since the one MP system was implemented in 2003, Warwick North East has elected an OBA MP twice, and a PLP MP twice, with the margin of victory ranging from 52% – 57%, meaning the constituency is not a ‘safe seat’.

Election result3 C 25

In the 2017 General Election, Mr Baron defeated the PLP’s Kathy Lynn Simmons by a margin of 65 votes, winning 53.53% of the vote [493 votes], while Ms Lynn Simmons won 46.47% of the vote [428 votes].

In the 2012 General Election, Mark Pettingill defeated the PLP’s Dale Butler, who was then the incumbent, winning 57.72% of the vote.

In the 2007 General Election, Mr Butler won 53.5% of the vote vs the UBP’s Gina Spence, and in the 2003 General Election Mr Butler won 52.27% of the vote vs the UBP’s Mark Pettingill.

 Constituency  Boundary Map From The Parliamentary Registrar

Election-export25

Possible Outcomes

The PLP won the 2017 General Election with 24 seats to the OBA’s 12 — giving the PLP a strong majority in the 36-seat House – and depending on the outcome of this by-election, the split will remain at 24-12 or change to 25-11.

It is also technically possible that an independent candidate could stand and win the seat and the split then goes to 24-11-1, however that is an unlikely scenario, with an outcome of 24-12 or 25-11 considerably more likely.

Given that Mr Baron only resigned yesterday, neither party has announced a candidate yet, however both are likely to do so in the coming weeks.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Jeff , Thank-you for your service .

  2. Coffee says:

    He was only in it for self gratification …

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