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General Election Results - 13 December 2010

General elections were held on Monday, 13 December 2010 for all directly elected members of the House of Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

The unicameral Parliament of St. Vincent, the House of Assembly, comprises 15 elected Representatives and six Senators appointed by the Governor-General – four on the advice of the Prime Minister and two on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition.  The normal duration of the legislature is five years.

On 14 November 2010, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves announced that the House of Assembly would be dissolved on 15 November in view of general elections to be held on 13 December.

In the previous elections held in December 2005, Prime Minister Gonsalves' Unity Labour Party (ULP) won its second consecutive term.  It took 12 of the 15 seats, winning 55.26 per cent of the votes.  The New Democratic Party (NDP), which had been voted out of office in 2001 after 17 years in power, won only three seats although it took 44.68 per cent of the votes.

The country of 110,000 inhabitants was severely affected by the global economic crisis in 2008.  In an apparent bid to supplement a reduced budget, Prime Minister Gonsalves forged closer ties with Iran, which sent US$ 7 million in aid for several local development projects.  In 2009, St. Vincent and the Grenadines joined the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA, see note), launched in 2004 by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the then Cuban President Fidel Castro.

In September 2009, the House of Assembly adopted a constitutional referendum bill, paving the way for a referendum to be held on 25 November.  The proposed constitution provided for a President as the Head of State instead of the Governor-General, as stipulated in the current 1979 Constitution.  The President would be elected by the National Assembly, as the parliament would be known.  Prime Minister Gonsalves' ULP claimed that the new constitution would bring true independence to the country.  The opposition NDP, led by former Prime Minister Arnhim Eustace, urged voters to reject it, arguing that it did not reduce the prime minister's powers.  On 25 November 2010, 43% of voters supported the proposed constitution, well short of the two-thirds majority required for approval.  The NDP demanded early general elections, a call rejected by the Prime Minister.

In 2010, 44 candidates were vying for the 15 directly elected seats in the House of Assembly: 15 each from the ULP and the NDP and 14 from the Green Party, which had failed to win parliamentary representation in 2005.  The media focused on the duel between the ULP and the NDP, pushing the Green Party's election campaign to the back burner.

The ULP was seeking a third consecutive victory.  It presented 10 policies aiming at poverty reduction, job creation, economic growth, and development.  It focused on information and communications technology (ICT) training and the implementation of the "one laptop per student" project as part of extending its "education revolution" policy.  Prime Minister Gonsalves called on voters' support for the ULP, arguing that he needed another five-year term "to complete certain unfinished tasks" and to lead the country to "the next level" in the interest of all citizens. He pledged to provide better housing, health and well-being, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and airport development.

The NDP criticized the government's economic and social policies, arguing that the poor were becoming poorer and many citizens were in need of better health services.  The NDP launched a "Social, Spiritual and Redemption Charter", a job-creation policy that aims to employ at least one member of each of the country's 33,000 households.  NDP leader Eustace, an economist, pledged to implement "knowledge-based" economic policies.  He accused the Prime Minister of having an "autocratic" style of leadership.  Many NDP candidates pledged to relax the country's ties with Venezuela and Cuba.

The 2010 electoral roll comprised 101,000 registered voters, up from 91,000 recorded in 2005.  NDP leader Eustace alleged that the list contained the names of 20,000 deceased persons, which was denied by the election supervisor.

In all, 62.33% of the approximate 101,000 registered voters turned out at the polls.

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) monitored the elections.  The OAS concluded that the election had complied with international standards for inclusiveness and transparency.  CARICOM stated that the preparations for the elections had been adequate and the conditions existed for the free expression of the will of the voters.

Prime Minister Gonsalves was returned to office with a reduced majority, taking eight of the 15 seats at stake.  The NDP took the remainder while the Green Party failed again to win parliamentary representation. 

On 15 December, Gonsalves was sworn in for a third consecutive term as Prime Minister along with his deputy, Ms. Girlyn Miguel, the sole woman elected to the House of Assembly in 2010.  Prime Minister Gonsalves nominated four members, all male, to the House of Assembly while the NDP nominated two members, both female.  They were subsequently appointed by the Governor-General.

On 30 December, the newly elected House of Assembly held its first session and re-elected Hendrick Alexander as its Speaker.
Note: ALBA was launched as an alternative to the Free Trade Area of Americas, proposed by the United States.  By 2010, Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Venezuela had acceded to ALBA.

ELECTION SNAPSHOT
Expand Map
Total Valid Votes 62,805
Invalid Votes 188
Total Votes Cast 62,993
Population 104,217
Voting Age Population 72,190
Registered Voters 100,363
Voter Turnout 62.77%
CRITICAL DATES
Dissolution of Eighth Parliament Mon, 15 Nov 2010
Nomination Day Fri, 26 Nov 2010
Polling Day Mon, 13 Dec 2010
First Meeting of Ninth Parliament Mon, 24 Jan 2011
POLITICAL LEADERS
  Photo Ralph GONSALVES Winner
Unity Labour Party (ULP)
  Photo Arnhim EUSTACE
New Democratic Party (NDP)
  Photo Ivan O'NEAL
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Green Party (SVGP)
PARTY MANIFESTOS
Download Download
ULP 2010 Manifesto SVGP 2010 Manifesto
NDP Manifesto unavailable
ELECTION REPORTS
CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission Preliminary Statement Download report
OAS Election Observers Report Download report
RELATED RESOURCES
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Constitution (1979, Revised 1990) Download report
Representation of the People Act (1982, revised 2009) Download report
Code of Conduct on 2010 Elections
for St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Download report
SVG Election Centre 2010 Access resource
RESULTS BY PARTY
UNITY LABOUR PARTY
8
seats
51.1% of votes
NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY
7
seats
48.7% of votes
SVG GREEN PARTY
0
seats
0.2% of votes
SUMMARY RESULTS
  Party Code  Votes Number of Candidates Seats
Total % votes Change Number Change
  Unity Labour Party ULP 32,099 51.1% -4.3% 15 8 -4
  New Democratic Party NDP 30,568 48.7% +4.1% 15 7 +4
  SVG Green Party SVGP 138 0.2% +0.2% 13 0 -
  Total Valid Votes Total 62,805 100% - 43 15 -
Expand graph Expand graph
Expand graph Expand graph
SUMMARY BY CONSTITUENCY AND PARTY
North Windward NW 6,527 2,252 2,502 13 4,767 10 4,777 73.19%
North Central Windward NC 5,863 761 3,004 - 3,765 10 3,775 64.39%
South Central Windward SC 6,494 1,857 2,425 18 4,300 12 4,312 66.40%
South Windward SW 6,696 1,648 2,434 18 4,100 9 4,109 61.36%
Marriaqua MQ 7,164 1,954 2,522 9 4,485 18 4,503 62.86%
East St. George EG 8,663 2,477 2,760 12 5,249 8 5,257 60.68%
West St. George WG 7,850 2,066 2,495 - 4,561 8 4,569 58.20%
East Kingstown EK 7,846 2,589 2,122 6 4,717 15 4,732 60.31%
Central Kingstown CK 7,838 2,445 2,063 12 4,520 7 4,527 57.76%
West Kingstown WK 7,549 2,451 1,940 11 4,402 12 4,414 58.47%
South Leeward SL 8,067 2,595 2,396 7 4,998 25 5,023 62.27%
Central Leeward CL 6,614 2,140 2,290 6 4,436 21 4,457 67.39%
North Leeward NL 6,081 2,189 2,007 11 4,207 11 4,218 69.36%
Northern Grenadines NG 4,163 2,024 491 9 2,524 14 2,538 60.97%
Southern Grenadines SG 2,948 1,120 648 6 1,774 8 1,782 60.45%
Total   100,363 30,568 32,099 138 62,805 188 62,993 62.77%
ELECTED MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
  Representative Party
North Windward   DANIEL, Montgomery Unity Labour Party
North Central Windward   GONSALVES, Ralph Everard* Unity Labour Party
South Central Windward   CAESAR, Saboto Scofield Unity Labour Party
South Windward   STEPHENSON, Frederick Unity Labour Party
Marriaqua   MIGUEL, Girlyn Unity Labour Party
East St. George   BURGIN, Clifton Clayton Fitzroy Unity Labour Party
West St. George   McKIE, Cecil Unity Labour Party
East Kingstown   EUSTACE, Arnhim Ulric New Democratic Party
Central Kingstown   LEACOCK, St. Clair New Democratic Party
West Kingstown   CUMMINGS, Daniel E. New Democratic Party
South Leeward   STEPHENSON, Nigel New Democratic Party
Central Leeward   CHARLES, Maxwell Adolphus Unity Labour Party
North Leeward   MATTHEWS, Roland Ulric New Democratic Party
Northern Grenadines   FRIDAY, Godwin L. New Democratic Party
Southern Grenadines   OLLIVIERRE, Terrance Nathaniel New Democratic Party
Key
DRP= Democratic Republican Party; NDP = New Democratic Party; SVGP = St. Vincent and the Grenadines Green Party; ULP = Unity Labour Party; IND = Independent; * Incumbent; ** Political Leader
Sources
The Electoral Office of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
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