Chris is in!
by Neville Clarke
Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler, romped home to an easy victory last night over the Barbados Labour Party candidate, Gregory Nicholls, by a margin of 915 votes, confounding analysts who anticipated that a seven per cent swing would have swept in many Barbados Labour Party candidates.
Sinckler won seven of the polling districts, with Nicholls recorded victories in polling districts HA5, HB3 and HC2.
Counting began at the Ellerslie Secondary School around 8:35 p.m. and when Returning Officer Charles Haynes announced the first five polling districts, Sinckler had garnered 1,076 votes to Nicholls’ 605 votes.
Sinckler maintained this comfortable lead when Haynes announced the final five polling stations around 1:30 a.m.
On the announcement of Sinckler’s victory a small number of his supporters accompanied by the candidate turned up at the school. There were no scenes of merriment as Sinckler calmly evaluated the status of the election while speaking to members of the press.
On this occasion the defeated BLP candidate did not turn up at the counting station to concede. Speaking to the Press shortly after he was declared the duly elected member of the House of Assembly for the constituency of St. Michael North West, Sinckler calmly said:
“I feel very good about the victory. I was never booed at the nomination on February 6. I think the party has performed very well. I think when you consider where we would have come from in 2011, and all of the polls predicting a resolute defeat for the DLP, to have gotten to the stage to potentially win the Government, which we never doubted, is a remarkable achievement and it shows that the public has accepted the defence of the DLP.”
Commenting on the latest opinion poll, the outspoken parliamentarian said: “I have the greatest respect for pollster Peter Wickham and his work, but we often say that polls do not necessarily vote, people do. In the context of what we were experiencing on the ground, it was clear that the party had picked up momentum by the second week of the campaign and we led until it was closed. Clearly there was no swing of seven per cent against the DLP.”
Sinckler promised Barbadians that the DLP would continue to do what it had been doing to keep the economy stable, protect the foreign reserves, bring down the fiscal deficit, maintain jobs across the public and private sector and try to restructure the economy.
He explained that the immediate task would be the Estimates of Expenditure and Revenue, which had to be discussed in Parliament by March 31. Sinckler garnered 2,549 of the 4,183 votes cast, while Nicholls received 1,634. There were 26 spoilt ballots.