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St. Vincent Labour Party (SVLP)

The St. Vincent Labour Party (SVLP) was a political party in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the ruling party between 1967 and 1972 and again from 1974 until 1984.

The SVLP was established in 1955 by barristers Robert Milton Cato and Rupert John and businessman O.D. Brisbane, with Cato as the party’s president.  Having its base in the middle class, and with a conservative law-and-order message and pro-Western foreign policy, the SVLP dominated politics from the mid-1960s until the mid-1980s

In the 1957 general elections, the SVLP received 19.0% of the vote, putting it in second place, but failed to win a seat.  In the 1961 elections the party received 47.9% of the vote and three seats, losing by only 336 votes to the ruling People's Political Party (PPP), who won nine seats.  In the 1966 elections, they received 50.9% of the vote, but the PPP won five seats to the Labour Party's four.  However, early elections the following year saw the Labour Party increase their vote share to 53.8% and take six of the nine seats.

Despite receiving over 50% of the vote again in 1972, the elections resulted in a tie with both parties winning six seats.  The sole independent candidate, James Mitchell formed a government with his former party, the PPP, and was appointed Prime Minister.  However, a further set of early elections in 1974 saw the Labour Party claim 69.0% of the vote and win ten of the thirteen seats.  They remained in power following the 1979 elections, but lost the 1984 elections to the New Democratic Party.  In the 1989 elections, the NDP won all 15 seats.  The Labour Party regained two seats in the 1994 elections, and on 16 October 1994, they merged with the Movement for National Unity (MNU) to form the Unity Labour Party (ULP).

The party symbol of the SVLP was the star.

Also, see Movement for National Unity (MNU) and Unity Labour Party (ULP)

QUICK FACTS
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Founded 1967
Dissolved 1994
Merged into Unity Labour Party
Party Symbol Star
Status Defunct
RELATED RESOURCES
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Political Parties of SVG
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Elections
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