Bye-Election Set To Be Called In Constituency 13

December 7, 2015

Following the resignation of PLP MP Glenn Blakeney, a bye-election will be called in Constituency 13 Devonshire North Central, and while neither party has officially announced a candidate yet, both can be expected to challenge for the seat.

Mr Blakeney — who was was first elected in 2003 and then subsequently reelected in 2007 and 2012 — submitted his resignation letter to the Speaker of the House, confirming his retirement effective today [Dec 7].

Bye-election 13 Bermuda Dec 6 2015

Bye-Election To Be Called

A bye-election will be called for Devonshire North Central, with the formal writ likely to be announced in the coming days, while the actual bye-election is likely to be held early next year.

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 bye-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.”

Until the writ is announced the date of the bye-election is unknown, however to provide a comparison, the timeline of the last bye-election is below:

  • September 23, 2014: Terry Lister formally announced he was resigning as an MP
  • September 30, 2014: Governor announced he issued a writ giving notice of the bye-election
  • October 28, 2014: Nomination day for the bye-election
  • November 18, 2014: The actual bye-election was held

Past Election Results For Devonshire North Central

In the 2012 General Election, Mr Blakeney defeated the OBA’s C. Anthony Francis by a margin of 19 votes, winning 51.18% of the vote [411 votes], while Mr Francis won 48.82% of the vote [392 votes].

In the 2007 General Election Mr Blakeney won 53.52% of the vote vs the UBP’s Albertha Waite, and in the 2003 General Election Mr Blakeney won 57.22% of the vote vs the UBP’s Hilary Soares.

Elections held prior to 2003 were held under a different system than we have now, with Devonshire divided into two areas [Devonshire North and Devonshire South] with both constituencies electing two MPs.

Past election results show that under the two-MP system, Devonshire North voters elected PLP MPs, while Devonshire South residents voted in UBP MPs.

Devonshire is now divided into four constituencies [Devonshire North West, Devonshire North Central, Devonshire South, Devonshire East] with all four constituencies electing one MP.

Since the one MP system was implemented in the 2003 General Election, Devonshire North Central has elected a PLP MP three times.

 Constituency 13 Boundary Map From The Parliamentary Registrar


Possible Outcomes

The OBA won the 2012 General Election with 19 seats to the PLP’s 17, and since then the breakdown in the House temporarily changed to 19 OBA, 16 PLP and 1 Independent, however it subsequently changed back to 19-17, where it remains today.

In 2013 Terry Lister left the PLP to sit as an independent, however the PLP regained that seat as Mr Lister resigned as an MP in 2014, and the PLP’s Jamahl Simmons defeated the OBA’s Georgia Marshall in the Sandys South bye-election – returning the House to a 19-17 split.

Looking at past results show that since the single MP system took effect in 2003, the margin of victory went from 57.22% in 2003, to 53.52% in 2007, to 51.18% in 2012 – when the PLP won by a margin of 19 votes.

If the PLP win this bye-election the split will remain at 19-17, and if the OBA win it will change to 20-16.

It is also theoretically possible that an independent candidate could stand and win the seat and the split reverts back to 19-16-1, however that can be considered a very unlikely outcome.

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Comments (27)

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  1. Longtail says:

    Glenn Blakeney clearly had decided to step down some time ago so this is all no surprise. His stepping down, however, is clearly timed so that the bye-election will be called after students return to their overseas schools….. sadly also not a surprise.

    • Chris (student) says:

      why is it ‘sad’ that the students will be able to vote? sounds like you don’t want young and educated people voting?

  2. swing voter says:

    why not call a snap General Election? Kick ‘em in the nuts

    • Onion juice says:

      That would be suicide for U.B.P.

      • Longtail says:

        You are lost in a time warp OJ.

      • aceboy says:

        Yea, because the OBA is so bad. We should go back to the really good governance displayed by the PLP while they were in power. *puke*

      • rudy says:

        Perhaps but the OBA would clean up and after that consumer confidence would go up. Foreign capital would pour into the island in the form of international business and tourism dollars. All the little OJs will get free stuff from government because government will have lots of surplus money just like the U.B.P. had.

        Hooray for stability!

      • Onion says:

        The UBP/PLP are in Opposition now so I’m not sure how they’d call an election.

      • What it is says:

        OJ You are really slow off the mark when it comes to seeing what is in front of you. Tell me, how much debt did the UBP leave for your PLP?????????? How can one be soooooooo out of touch?

  3. Ms. Poli Tician says:

    OBA should run John Barrit – we need an adult in the House and Cabinet.

    • X-Men says:

      Why the OBA? I think the PLP should go after him too.

    • lowe says:

      John Barrit and John Swan… Those are my two all-time favorites. I do have high regards for Burt as well. Burt is the best debater in the House presently.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        There the crux though, you may see Burt as a great debater, but he has shown a lousy grasping for numbers… or at least a lousy sense of honesty with them. Richards is still the better numbers man, and that is what we need. People who are good with numbers and providing their cold honest truth seldom have charismatic personalities, kind of part and parcel with being an accountant. Always be wary of someone with charisma presenting numbers, they will seldom tell you what they mean, but will always tell you what they want them to mean.

  4. jeremy deacon says:

    It will be interesting to see the candidates – I wonder if an indepedent will run.

    • Onion juice says:

      Looks like U.B.P. might USE the DJ from the carnival. Pied Piper tactic, wonder how many will follow him overboard?

  5. Your joking says:

    Did not see Mr Blakeney or any other PLP in 20 years of living in Devonshire North…..don’t stop by now

  6. sfsdfsd says:

    I think the OBA will win this seat.

  7. Encyclopedia says:

    This will be a test for PLP to see if its base voters come out to vote. If it does, then the PLP will win and that would augur well for them for the next General election. Last General election a percentage of the PLP voters stayed home which gave the election to OBA.

    If the OBA wins this seat, then they would have the momentum and it would be Advantage OBA going into the next General election.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      You have a point, but a lot can and will happen over the next two years before the election is called. The OBA need that time for everything that they have been working on, to really take a hold and create jobs etc.

    • Interesting Times says:

      You have a good point. If the OBA with this seat they will call a snap election shortly thereafter.

      • sfsdfsd says:

        No they won’t. They will defintly wait until the America’s Cup is over. They can’t let the PLP mess that up.

  8. Serious Though says:

    what about Senator Fay?

    • Sam I Am says:

      What about running Craig Cannonier. He sure’s isn’t during anything now for his constituency (especially on the Botanical Gardens fiasco) maybe he will for a different one.

    • frank says:

      What about him

  9. rudy says:

    Suppose Blakeney decides to run under a new banner? Maybe the P.R.P (Port Royal Posse) for instance.