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British Virgin Islands General Election Results - 12 November 1979

General Elections were held in the British Virgin Islands on 12 November 1979 for all nine seats in the Legislative Council. The number of seats was increased from seven prior to the election.

Electoral System

The British Virgin Islands elects on territorial level to a unicameral legislature. The Legislative Council consists of 11 members; nine elected representatives for a four year term, the Attorney General (non-voting, ex officio member) and one elected Speaker.

Background

The 1979 general election was the first election to be conducted after the Legislative had been expanded to nine elected seats (from the previous seven). Astonishingly, fully one third of the seats up for election were not contested, with only a single candidate standing in the 3rd, 7th, and 8th Districts. For the 3rd District, this was the second consecutive general election where the seat was uncontested.

Results

The result was a victory for the opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) led by former Chief Minister Lavity Stoutt over the incumbent United Party (UP) led by Willard Wheatley. The a newly formed party, the Virgin Islands National Movement (VINM), led by Elvin Stoutt, also contested the election but did not win any seats.

Voter Turnout

Voter turnout was 74.8%.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM
System First-past-the-post
Elected Members 9 single-member constituencies
CRITICAL DATES
Dissolution of House -
Nomination Day Mon, 15 Oct 1979
Polling Day Mon, 12 Nov 1979
First Meeting of Parliament -
POLITICAL LEADERS
  Photo H. Lavity STOUTT
Virgin Islands Party (VIP)
  Photo Walwyn BREWLEY
BVI United Party (UP)
  Photo Q.William OSBORNE
V.I. Democratic Party (VIPP)
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Sources
Virgin Islands Office of the Supervisor of Elections
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