General Elections were held in Trinidad and Tobago on 7 September 2017 for all 41 seats in the House of Representatives.
The 41 members of the House of Representatives are elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting. There is no fixed election date in effect in Trinidad and at this time; hence, the choice of election date is the prerogative of the Prime Minister.
The 2010 general elections were won by the People's Partnership(PP) coalition, an alliance of the United National Congress (UNC), the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC), the Congress of the People (COP) and the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP). The PP took 29 of the 41 seats, with the People's National Movement (PNM) winning the other 12. Prior to the 2015 general elections, two by-elections were held in St Joseph and Chaguanas West, which saw the seats held by the PP won by the PNM and Independent Liberal Party (ILP) respectively.
Political Parties & Candidates
A total of 127 candidates contested the election for 17 different political parties, with another five running as independents. The PNM was the only party to contest all 41 seats, and only two other parties contested more than half the seats; the United National Congress ran in 28 and the ILP in 26.
The COP ran in eight seats, the Laventille Outreach for Vertical Enrichment, the NJAC, New National Vision and Trinidad Humanity Campaign all contested three seats, whilst Tobago Forwards, the TOP and the Platform of Truth ran in two. The other parties only nominated a single candidate, including the Democratic Development Party, the Independent Democratic Party, the National Coalition for Transportation, the New Voice, the Youth Empowerment Party and the Youth, National Organisations, Farmers Unification, Policy Reformation.
The UNC, NJAC, COP and TOP again ran under the PP banner, and did not run candidates against each other.
During the election campaign, the major parties focused on social policies, measures to tackle corruption and violent crime, as well as ways to diversify the countrys oil-based economy.
The People's National Movement (PNM), led by Mr. Keith Rowley, regained power after five years in opposition, taking 23 of 41 seats at stake. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's People's Partnership (PP, see note) took the remaining 18 seats.
On 9 September, Mr. Rowley was sworn in as Prime Minister.
Voter turnout was 67.27%.