Victory over anxiety
by Chanét Morris
The suspense and anxiety in the media room at Queen’s College slowly grew with every passing second; and no doubt, the more results heard from the other constituencies, the more the eagerness built for the constituents of St. James South.
In the meantime, the counting centre was absent of supporters from either party. Finally, at around 12:30 a.m., the officers appeared with the first set of results. Returning Officer Charles Phillips and Assistant Counting Agent, Randy Woodroffe, announced the first 13 of the 18 boxes with the Barbados Labour Party’s Sandra Husbands polling 1,833 votes and Donville Inniss 2,503 votes. Shortly after this announcement, the parking lot began to come alive with supporters.
With five boxes remaining and Inniss ahead of Husbands by 670 votes, DLP supporters, dressed in their blue and yellow apparel and led by incumbent Inniss and his wife, Gail, gathered in the parking lot anxious, but with victorious smiles.
The small but enthusiastic group stayed by their cars listening to their radios. They buzzed with nervousness but still excitement as they followed the results from the other districts around the island.
These buzzes turned into cheers the second the returning officer popped his head through the door. Phillips announced, over a jittery crowd, that out of the 5,882 ballots cast, Inniss received 3,326 of the votes, leaving Husbands with 2,556 votes.
Inniss was declared the MP for the constituency of St. James South and the Queen’s College Hall burst into screams, shouts and applause. Inniss swiftly thanked his constituents for their support and was quick to add that although the overall results were still close, he had faith that his party, the Democratic Labour Party, would be victorious.
Following his victory speech, he led his supporters off to his constituency office and their cheers could still be heard as the vehicles drove away.
Neither Husbands nor a single red-shirt BLP supporter could be seen at the counting centre during the entire process or the celebration following the declaration.