General Elections were held in the British Virgin Islands on 8 June 2015 for all 13 seats in the House of Assembly.
The British Virgin Islands elects on territorial level to a unicameral legislature. The House of Assembly (formerly called the Legislative Council prior to 2007) consists of fifteen (15) members; thirteen (13) elected representatives for a four year term, nine (9) of whom are electoral district representatives and four (4) as territorial-at-large representatives, the Attorney General (non-voting, ex officio member) and one elected Speaker.
On 14 May 2015, His Excellency the Governor Mr. John S. Duncan, OBE issued the Writs of Election appointing Friday, 22 May 2015 as Nomination Day and Monday, 8 June 2015 as Polling Day.
Political Parties & Candidates
Forty-two candidates were nominated to contest the 2015 General Elections. A full slate of 13 candidates from both the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) led by Premier Orlando Smith, and the main opposition party, the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) led by Julian Fraser, were nominated in addition to five members from the Alvin Christopher led People’s Empowerment Party (PEP). Three candidates were nominated from the People’s Progressive Coalition (PPC).
A total of six persons were nominated as independent candidates at the District level and two persons were nominated as independent candidates at the Territorial At-Large level.
The election campaign was observed to be peaceful and vibrant and saw high levels of public engagement. Fundamental freedoms of assembly, expression and movement were respected, and parties and candidates were able to campaign freely throughout the territory. The campaign was active and visible with a widespread presence of large billboards, posters, motorcades and radio jingles. Political parties and candidates held a series of festive rallies with speeches, video testimonials, music, horns, balloons and cheering from the crowds.
The result was a landslide victory for the incumbent National Democratic Party (NDP) over the opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP). No minor parties or independent candidates won any seats. Unusually, every single incumbent candidate who stood in their original seat was victorious. The NDP's margin of victory (9 seats) and share of the total votes cast (60.2%) were both records for an election.
Voter turnout was 67.50% of the 13,585 registered voters.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) was officially invited by the Governor, His Excellency John Duncan OBE to deploy an independent Election Observation Mission to the Virgin Islands (UK) to observe the 8 June general election.
As leader of the party with the largest number of overall seats, Orlando Smith was appointed premier and invited to form a government under the Constitution. He announced an unchanged cabinet.