by Michron Robinson
This was before the Barbados Labour Party’s Dale Marshall was announced as the duly elected candidate for the constituency of St. Joseph.
He trounced the Democratic Labour Party’s Dennis Holder who had a total of 2,452 to his 2,850 votes, which was an improvement over his performance in the 2003 and 2008 elections which he won with less than 100 votes.
This was met by cheering, blowing of whistles and horns by Barbados Labour Party supporters at the announcement.
The chilly wind of the rural constituency blew as the atmosphere changed from one of anticipation at 6:56 p.m. to anxiety, nervousness and excitement at 12:55 a.m. as the final votes were counted.
The sound of the boots of the police could be heard as they patrolled St. Joseph Primary and added to that feeling of seriousness and security that is generally expected from polling stations.
As the quiet yet busy whispers grew, the atmosphere changed and became a hive of activity.
Marshall, who was all smiles, told reporters at the counting centre: “I’m delighted, it is really a tremendous breakthrough for me and for my constituents. I’m especially heartened by the fact that I have been able to achieve the kind of margin [I did].”
St. Joseph, which is a BLP stronghold, was once represented by the DLP’s Maizie Barker-Welch who beat Lindsay Bolden in 1994.
In terms of what allowed Marshall to have this margin increase as opposed to last election’s 44, he said: “Being in the Opposition over the last five years has allowed me a greater level of interaction with my constituents and I have had certainly more time to do a lot more meaningful things with them.”
However, he said he believes it has a lot to do with the hard economic times Barbadians are facing and this shift towards him is a greater shift towards the BLP and a rejection of the DLP.