Wed | Jan 19, 2022

Voters in St Catherine north unfettered by downpour

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2020 | 2:00 PM

Unfettered by sudden a downpour, voter turnout began to show signs of improvement following the slow start to voting in the keenly contested constituency of St Catherine North Eastern.

Supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in its Guys Hill stronghold are out in large numbers to cast their votes.

Driven by what they described as the Brogad effect (a reference to Prime Minister Andrew Holness) and the fact that they have a female representing the party for the first time in 16 contested elections in the constituency, the throng of supporters say they are excited to return Holness as Prime Minister and install Kerensia Morrison as their member of parliament.

At the Guys Hill High School, JLP outdoor agent Claudia Smith, who is tasked with keeping a vote count for the party described the turnout as very good.

"Things have picked up and the party supporters are turning up in their numbers," she told The Gleaner.

Beverley Wallace, outdoor agent for the People’s National Party (PNP) was frank in her assessment.

"I am not surprised at the increase Labour Party support in Guys Hill. After all this is their stronghold," she added.

The largest turnout of JLP supporters by far was seen at Mount Nedo Primary School where five polling divisions are located in a cluster with 1,089 electors. More than 400 voters had already voted by 10 am.

Kevin White, who voted in 2016 for Leslie Campbell and said he was now casting his vote for Morrison, declared that he is supporting Andrew and Kerensia.

"She is down to earth, never skip any yard when she was campaigning. She speak to everybody and I think she will give us roads and water,” he said.

Until the polls close at 5 pm it will be a matter of ground operation for both camps. Morrison is trying to maximise support in the traditional JLP stronghold, the most populated of the three municipal divisions in the constituency.

Senior Smith will try to counter this strategy with a good showing in the divisions of Mount Industry and Troja, where the PNP has had some level of success in previous general elections, but was not able to get enough votes to override the support coming out of Guys Hill.

Ever since the 1980 general election when the constituency recorded an 83 per cent voter turnout and the JLP incumbent EK Powell defeated PNP candidate Dorrett Aarons, beating her by a margin of 5,752 votes, the constituency has never seen that level of voter participation again.

St Catherine North Eastern

2020

PNP - Oswest Senior-Smith

JLP - Kerensia Morrison

2016

PNP - Phyllis Mitchell - 5,763

JLP - Leslie Campbell - 5,885

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