Michael Scott, PLP MP in Sandys North

Bermuda Real has confirmed that Progressive Labour Party MP Michael Scott has formally informed the Premier that he’s packing it in and stepping out of the political arena, with no intention of running in the next General Election.

The veteran MP, who has consistently held the seat in Constituency 36 Sandys North for 22 years, was first elected in 1998.

Now it’s up to the party’s branch to decide who will take his place at the polls on October 1.

The party is expected to announce another candidate this morning, at party headquarters at 11am. Whether they will make this announcement remains to be seen. Frankly it doesn’t matter!

This journalist has known for weeks that Mr Scott has stepped down. We asked him three times over the past several weeks to confirm it. His last response was: “It is my decision and that’s up to me.” Our response was simply this: “You’re a public figure and we shall see!”

To think that public figures, including MPs have that type of control over the media is a stretch at best. It may apply to other media outlets but not this one! And it would be wise to THINK AGAIN!

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, party sources confirmed that the PLP branch of Sandys North now have to decide between Kathy Lynn Simmons or Graham Maule.

Our sources say they are not happy with either one of them. When asked why, one source said: “Ms Simmons not only lost the last time around, she was appointed to the Senate and charged with piloting Cannabis Reform.

Attorney General Senator Kathy Lynn Simmons

“She engaged Bermuda’s public via public consultation on Cannabis Reform but she has failed to deliver on a promise made in the party’s last platform.

“Now they’re talking about a new platform – what happened to the promises made the last time around?”

Asked what was their issue with Graham Maule, this source declined to comment and would only say: “He’s got too many issues and we don’t see him as a viable candidate.”

It all makes for a very interesting race because the selected candidate to replace Mr Scott, only has five weeks to convince west end constituents in Sandys North that they should represent them in the House of Assembly.

But remember, in 2012 when the Progressive Labour Party lost to the One Bermuda Alliance, Michael Scott was challened by Ray Charlton. And at the end of the day, he only retained the seat for the PLP by a narrow margin of a mere eight votes. The final count: Michael Scott – 399 votes to Ray Charlton’s 391.

Keep in mind, however, that an estimated 14,000 voters stayed away from the polls in 2012, which paved the way for a one-term OBA government, that essentially won by default.

Whether or not voters will turnout strong in the upcoming election remains to be seen. On the surface, you don’t hear a lot of noise regarding disenchantment with the PLP government. But anyone with their finger on the pulse of this community, like this journalist – when you put your ear to the ground there’s a lot of noise island wide.

Those questioned as to why they feel disenchanted – most say the PLP is riding on their COVID record but they have yet to deliver on the mandate they were given in 2017 with their landslide victory.

Asked which issues matter most to them, one source said: “Now more than ever we need a liveable wage. You have thousands of people who were unemployed before this pandemic and despite the promises the PLP failed to deliver!”

Wayne Caines, Former Minister of National Security

The other hot topic – Immigration Reform. Three years and three Ministers later and they ask where is it? Not to mention one former Minister’s ‘Titty Milk’ debacle!

And then there’s the PLP Healthcare Reform – again they ask where is it? Another source said: “All we got was the Sugar Tax – where’s the rest?

“The global pandemic appears to have wiped out that plan as well.”

Several constituents say they don’t plan to vote in this upcoming election – time will tell because traditionally, when it comes right down to it, many who say they don’t plan to vote, tend to change their minds when it’s crunch time.

Fast forward to the General Election in 2017 that saw the PLP win a landslide victory, Mr Scott’s victory was more convincing when he defeated Ray Charlton again. The final count: Michael Scott 577 votes – Ray Charlton 297 votes.

In the last General Election Kathy Lynn Simmons ran for the Progressive Labour Party in Constituency 25 Warwick North East, against then One Bermuda Alliance MP Jeff Baron who secured the seat with 493 votes to the 428 votes for Ms Simmons.
It’s interesting to note that Jeff Baron, a former Minister of National Security later gave up his seat in April 2018, causing a by-election  later gave up his seat, causing a bye-election
Former PLP candidate Graham Maule

In 2017, Graham Maule ran for the PLP in Constituency 20 Pembroke South West against OBA MP Susan Jackson. The final count: Susan Jackson – 650 votes, Graham Maule 176 votes.

Bermuda Real understands Ms Simmons is tipped as the favourite to replace Michael Scott. Whether she will emerge as the favourite in Sandys North at the polls – time will tell.
It will be interesting to see who the OBA plans to run.
In any case, under section 49(2) of the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968, the Parliament of Bermuda was dissolved by the Governor on Friday, August 21, paving the way for residents to to decide who will be elected and who won’t.