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Marginal seats will be key to winning power

  • Cast your vote: consider the facts over the rhetoric

Winning the popular vote is one thing but, with at least four seats balanced on a knife-edge, victory in next week’s General Election is a whole different ball game.

The One Bermuda Alliance is enjoying an advantage of 11 percentage points over the Progressive Labour Party — a lead, according to this week’s Global Research poll, that coincides with a resurgence of confidence in the economy which many are attributing to the performance of the ruling party.

Yet it is widely accepted among both political parties that the result on Tuesday could come down to whoever does best in a small handful of constituencies.

At the 2012 election, four seats were decided by a combined total of only 28 votes. In those crucial marginals next week, the outcome will be decided not so much by the national level of support but by local circumstances and the merits of the individual candidates.

In St George’s West five years ago, Nandi Outerbridge of the OBA won by four votes against Renée Ming of the PLP. She is facing a stronger challenge this year from Kim Swan, who won more than 200 votes as an independent in 2012 and will be representing the PLP this time.In Pembroke Central, Walton Brown of the PLP will be taking on Andrew Simons of the OBA for the second time; five years ago, Mr Brown won by six votes.

In Warwick North Central five years ago, Wayne Scott of the OBA defeated David Burch of the PLP by ten votes. Mr Scott has stepped aside and this time Mr Burch will be up against newcomer Sheila Gomez of the OBA.

In Sandys North, Michael Scott will be defending against Ray Charlton for the second consecutive election; in 2012, Mr Scott won by eight votes.

Shortly before the election five years ago, a poll by Mindmaps found the OBA had a 43-30 lead over the PLP, or 13 percentage points. The OBA ended up winning 52 per cent of the popular vote, with the PLP getting 46 per cent. This transpired to 19 seats for the OBA and 17 for the PLP.

This week’s poll of 400 registered voters has a margin of error of +/- 4.9 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence level.

According to Nosheen Syed, who co-owns Global Research with Leslie Steede, voters were selected at random to include sufficient representation of age, gender and race groups, and the results were generalised to the Bermuda population as a whole.

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