Hard on the heels of the Progressive Labour Party’s sweeping victory at the polls, former Premier Dr Ewart Brown stated today that “the formation of another political party was inevitable”.
Responding to the request for a response to the final count in the 2020 General Election by Bermuda Real, he extended “congratulations to the PLP”, after Premier David Burt’s call for a snap election that saw the Opposition party – the One Bermuda Alliance reduced from 11 MPs down to six MPs.
The swearing in of Ministers and the appointment of Senators will take place at Government House next week.
What that will look like remains to be seen, but the Upper House is destined for a whole new line up, now that five PLP Senators have moved up to the Lower House in the form of Crystal Caesar, Anthony Richardson, Vance Campbell, Kathy Lynn Simmons and Ianthia Simmons-Wade.
Meanwhile, OBA Leader Craig Cannonier, who held the seat Devonshire South Central, said it was still too early to tell what he plans to do moving forward.
At the end of the day when all was said and done, the PLP claimed 30 of the 36 seats in the House of Assembly – winning 62.10 percent of the popular vote.
In Southampton, the PLP picked up two more seats with Jason Wade ousting the incumbent Leah Scott, the OBA’s Deputy Leader and Crystal Caesar defeated the OBA’s Ben Smith.
Another sweeping defeat came in C19 where the seat formerly held by the OBA’s Jeanne Atherden was won resoundingly by Jache Adams.
Anthony Richardson took the seat formerly held by the OBA’s Sylvan Richards and the PLP’s Vance Campbell took the seat in C9 vacated by the OBA’s Trevor Moniz. As it turns out, he was canvassing with the OBA’s jilted former MP John Barritt, who was promised a seat in the Senate by the OBA for giving up his seat to Craig Cannonier.
How Trevor Moniz feels about his long stronghold grip on that constituency that vanished – we will ask him in due course, but for now how he feels doesn’t matter.
As for the six OBA MP’s left still standing with a party that’s literally dead at the end of the day, who knows.
Either way the OBA’s Craig Cannonier, Michael Dunkley, Cole Simons, Susan Jackson, Scott Pearman, and Jarion Richardson, ultimately were reduced to five of the 11 seats they once held and they stand alone.
What does all of this mean to the newly formed FDM that 14 candidates who failed to win any seats – time will tell moving forward.
But they did secure 384 votes or 5.37 percent of the popular vote and as Dr Brown said, the formation of a third party was “inevitable”.
Undoubtedly, Marc Bean will use the final count as the basis for building momentum moving forward. It doesn’t take rocket science to know that the low voter turnout was a clear indication that Bermuda’s constituents are fed up with both parties.
When you factor in the Independent candidates they won a combined 67 votes, or 0.26 percent, with a total vote count of 25,763 votes out of a total of 46,311 registered voters.
Considering the fact that the FDM formed just a month ago, with 1,384 votes or 5.37 percent — that’s not a bad showing.
FDM Leader Marc Bean did not beat the PLP’s Kathy Lynn Simmons, but once again; at the end of the day, he did a lot better than the OBA’s Jeff Sousa.
Mr Bean secured 185 votes to Jeff Sousa’s 114 votes in Sandys North where Kathy Lynn Simmons won with 431 votes.
Moving forward, he said the FDM has to work on connecting with Bermuda’s young voters.
“We have to reflect on things,” said Mr Bean.
“As we analyse the whole campaign, we’ll be able to look at our strengths and weaknesses and adjust accordingly.”
But by far, the ultimate performance by the PLP’s Jache Adams was the big win as he ultimately defeated the OBA’s Marcus Jones at the polls on Thursday by 368 votes to 307 in Pembroke West – a seat previously won by the OBA’s Jeanne Atherden in 2017.
And in Hamilton South, the other surprise was the PLP’s Anthony Richardson, who defeated the OBA’s Robin Tucker by 422 votes to 326 in the Hamilton South for the seat previously held by the OBA’s Sylvan Richards.
But at the end of the day, more than 44 percent of Bermuda’s electorate did not vote, representing a clear indication that a large portion of Bermuda’s electorate are fed up with all of them.
Many felt this General Election would be a litmus test on whether or not the country was ready for a third party like the final showing of the National Liberal Party several years ago. And the five independent candidates came in with a total of 67 votes collectively, or 0.26 percent of the total number of ballots cast between them.
The last Independent candidate to be elected ever was Stuart Hayward, who won on the key issues ignored by the United Bermuda Party’s late Quinton Edness – the Minister who failed to purchase scrubbers for the Tynes Bay incinerator.
There are those among us who recall the multi-million dollar debacle that saw even more money spent with the Swiss company Von Roll for scrubbers that should have been included in the overall package for Bermuda’s waste management.
But that was a long time ago and frankly most constituents in today’s world don’t even remember. Their vague memories however, does not mean it never happened!
Of the 42,638 registered voters in Bermuda for this 2020 General Election, only 25,763 or 60 percent actually filed a ballot in this election.
Meanwhile, the OBA’s Leader Craig Cannonier, held down the seat vacated by former MP John Barritt in Devonshire South Central.
What does the bottom line mean for him, ultimately the OBA leader said it’s still too early to tell. The party’s slogan going into this election was ‘We Will Do Better’. After all was said and done at the polls – they didn’t do better – they did worse!
He was quoted as saying: “I don’t plan on going anywhere right now because we have built a dynamic team,” he said.
“So there are no plans, but I am going to sit down and take a few days and think about what it is I want to do next, and we’ll make some decisions from there.”
What those decisions will be remains to be seen, but clearly Bermuda’s electorate pointed up the fact that many are simply done with the One Bermuda Alliance and any remnants of the United Bermuda Party that’s left.
Either way, it makes for an interesting state of affairs in this small island of Bermuda.
As for the Progressive Labour Party’s unprecedented majority in the House of Assembly, once again, it does not take rocket science to figure out that it is time for them to deliver on promises made and not kept prior to their COVID-19 record.
How that will pan out moving forward – time will tell and rest assured we’ll keep you posted.
As stated at the top of this report, in the words of Dr Brown: “The OBA is in the Intensive Care Unit and their blood pressure is falling rapidly!”
The real question right now is whether or not their time has come – is it time for that party to just DIE? Or do we put them on life support to just breathe with no real brain activity?
Time will tell, but either way, the writing is clearly on the wall and in the grand scheme of things, ultimately we shall see.