– by Cecil Newry
I am neither a prophet nor a soothsayer and certainly I do not profess to be a Bahamian political pundit or the like.
But I do manage a socio-political face book blog of sorts, with a modest, yet active readership; and it is they, who have pressed me to play clairvoyant; to be the brave one to go out on a limb, to guess as to what the Bahamas’ 2012 General Election outcome will be.
Subsequently, it is they that I attempt to entertain by what I now write. But for certain, on May 8th, 2012, we all will know whether what I have written here was either utter rubbish or uncannily on point.
I am reminded of Deuteronomy 18 which states that false prophets are to be stoned. Well, me and flying rocks tend not to go two steps; and oddly enough, I find that I tend to have an allergic swelling reaction to them upon contact.
So here I insert a disclaimer in order to avoid future stoning due to my prediction: The following prediction is my humble opinion and truly not scientifically based.
First My Thoughts on The Election in General
That being said, there are three viable political parties within this election, all running excellent and dynamic campaigns.
Yes, the DNA is a viable party and option, don’t mind the naysayers; even they are now clearly concerned about the dramatic effect of the DNA’s presence within this election.
The DNA has become the noise in the market and their rumbling will definitely garner votes, affecting the final outcome of this General Election, particularly in Grand Bahama.
This election is not just an election between the FNM and the PLP, but the spirit of the DNA’s vote for change has muddied the usually clear cut guesses as to who will win what constituency seat.
This election will be close, unbelievably and unthinkably close due to the DNA factor. Subsequently I was compelled to add an “uncertain but leaning towards…”category to my prediction. Clearly, nothing regarding this election is certain and many voters will wait until the last minute to decide who they will commit their X to.
No, the FNM will not get all of the family island seats, they will not take all five in Grand Bahama, and they will not claim the over the hill constituencies.
All of that was wishful thinking and election rally talk. And no, there will be no such thing as a safe seat this election for the PLP and many feelings will be hurt due to this General Election’s outcome.
A lot of people will call in sick May 8th, 9th, 10th, and perhaps for that entire week. Even now knowing my predictions, I fear I have the gripes.
Definitely the perception of leadership will be a major issue, more so, parties’ message/platform will be weighed and compared and contrasted; in essence this election will be based upon trust, based upon parties’ past performance and history and ultimately based upon the individual candidates themselves.
1. Bain and Grants Town,
FNM John Bostwick, PLP Dr. Bernard Nottage, DNA Rodney Moncur, Independent Mario Clarke; Mr. Nottage (PLP) wins. Inner city constituencies tend to vote for PLP; particularly when the sitting government, the FNM has made no real attempt to win constituents over via specific social and economic empowerment initiatives. One must also consider the late entry and campaigning of candidates. But I am mindful of Bostwick success in winning over the crime stricken Hay Street area, which the locals call the “Boarder”, but after one crosses that boarder, there is an apparent yellow fever.
2. Bamboo Town,
FNM Cassius Stuart, PLP Renward Wells, DNA Branville McCartney, Independent Craig Butler; uncertain but leaning towards Mr. Wells (PLP) wins. This will be the most anticipated and watched raced during the General Election. The question of whether good representation outweighs party allegiance will be answered. However, due to boundary changes, making Bamboo Town akin to Kennedy, this seat will go gold. Not even Butler opening up the family’s food store cupboard freely to all and sundry will stop this outcome.
FNM Darron Cash, PLP Dr. Daniel Johnson, DNA Theofanis Cochinamogulos, Independent Glen Rolle; uncertain but leaning towards Dr. Johnson (PLP) wins. All candidates qualified; winner will be decided based upon who seems more sincere and who was on the ground first and who worked the hardest at winning.
4. Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador
FNM Michael Pintard, PLP Phillip Davis, DNA Shawn Francis; Mr. Davis (PLP) wins. Even though most of San Salvador seemingly went red. It just won’t be enough. Perhaps a longer campaign run would have made a difference for Pintard. Yet even Brave seat is not safe; someone has their black slick hands in the cookie jar regarding the potential Bahamian oil and they are brave and bold with it.
5. Central and South Abaco
FNM Edison Key, PLP Gary Sawyer, DNA Roscoe Thompson; uncertain but leaning towards Mr. Key (FNM) wins. Another interesting seat. All candidates are conchie joe Bahamians, seemingly related in some way and actually represent the dynamics of the community. However due to boundary changes and Key seeming more sympathetic to the “Haitian vote”, Key will overshadow the favored Thompson. Key continues to lobby for free land and government subsidy for the immigrants. He said the migrants have rights to their shanty town(s) and he is willing to go to court to ensure it. Go figure!
6. Central and South Eleuthera
FNM Howard Johnson, PLP Damien Gomez, DNA William Hunt; Mr. Johnson (FNM) wins. Johnson has become a Rock Star in Eleuthera. It will be interesting to see if the PLP will protest his eligibility to be a candidate. But Johnson has received more support by the Prime Minister than Cassius Stuart. Stuart has been hoodwinked, deceived, bamboozled, ran amok, lead astray by the PM yet again; but at least Stuart will finally get back his deposit.
7. Central Grand Bahama
FNM Neko Grant, PLP Julian Russell, DNA Howard Grant; uncertain but leaning towards Neko Grant (FNM) wins. Central Grand Bahama is FNM country with a huge conchie joe population. Even Neko “Magoo” Grant can’t botch this up, but then again, anything is possible in this general election, especially regarding Neko Grant.
FNM Ella Lewis, PLP Perry Christie, DNA Celi Moss; Mr. Christie (PLP) wins. It’s great that Ella Lewis was sent back to vie against Christie; she is a familiar face and her ties in Urban Renewal clearly assists her chances. However Moss has done more ground work as being the ideal Christie challenger, highlighting the fact that Christie has been a failed and lousy MP; however, the inner city constituencies tend to vote for PLP.
9. East Grand Bahama
FNM Peter Turnquest, PLP Taneisha Tynes, DNA Ferline Thomas; uncertain but leaning towards Mr. Turnquest (FNM). This particular seat was tricky to call. Thomas has huge popularity and may take away the steam from Turnquest, but Tynes just does not seem to have that support. But it is clear Grand Bahama enjoys bad treatment, and we expect that they will vote to ensure such treatment continues.
FNM Duane Sands, PLP Ryan Pinder, DNA Charlene Paul, Independent Jay Armbrister; uncertain but leaning towards Mr. Duane Sands (FNM) wins. Boundaries cuts here have helped Sands a lot here. The issue here is whose contribution in the House would be better appreciated; but the PM says he needs Sands to be in the House with him, I guess to replace Minnis who seemingly tends to be on his own independent run instead of the petty FNM politics.
FNM Caron Shepherd, PLP Glenys Martin, DNA Nicholas Jacques, Independent Alexander Morley; Ms.Martin (PLP) wins. Inner city constituencies tend to vote for PLP. If they did only send Shepherd to Fox Hill. In spite the outcome here, it should be interesting to see how well Rastafarian lawyer Morley will do in this election will.
12. Fort Charlotte
FNM Zhavargo Laing, PLP Dr. Andre Rollins, DNA Mark Humes; uncertain but leaning towards Dr.Rollins (PLP) wins. Another interesting race. Humes will be the spoiler. Laing’s major issue is it appears as if he abandoned Grand Bahama due to ineptitude. He is stink with that stigma. More so Rollins has been on the ground longer. Swing voters will determine who wins here. Rollins has the women vote, being a dentist with a nice smile clearly helped him here.
13. Fox Hill
FNM Shonel Ferguson, PLP Fred Mitchell, DNA Kendal Smith; Mr. Mitchell (PLP) wins. The FNM should have sent a stronger candidate. Smith a community builder is clearly the strongest candidate of the lot when it comes to local politics; if the campaign was longer, he would definitely be a major contender. Mitchell has forgotten however, that politics is local; the regionalist tends to concentrate his opinions and works on global issues rather than upon his constituency; just attending funerals like Perry Christie isn’t enough.
14. Garden Hills
FNM Brensil Rolle, PLP Kendal Major, DNA Kelphene Cunningham, Independent, Paul Moss; Dr.Major (PLP) wins. Rolle lacks the charisma. His claim to fame is that Garden Hill is not a demanding constituency, however the perpetual road works has frustrated the most passive of residents in the constituency.
15. Golden Gates
FNM Winsome Miller, PLP Shane Gibson, DNA Allsworth Pickstock; Mr. Gibson (PLP) wins. Alas, everyone in Golden Gates wants a free house.
16. Golden Isle
FNM Charles Maynard, PLP Michael Halkitis, DNA Farrell Goff; Mr. Maynard (FNM) wins. Goff campaigning hard. But Maynard is safe as it’s a vote for papa.
FNM Hubert Minnis, PLP Jerome Gomez, DNA Prodesta Moore; Mr. Minnis (FNM) wins. Minnis has been herald as the better Member of Parliament due to his management and organizational skills. Considered best option to be the FNM deputy leader, but I sincerely doubt that will happen as Butler-Turner is rumored to be the favorite.
18. Long Island
FNM Lorretta Turner, PLP Alex Storr, DNA Mario Cartwright; Ms. Turner (FNM) wins. Turner wins due to weak opposition. Both Storr and Cartwright will have to share votes. Turner has to deal with Larry Cartwirght’s neglect of Long Island and his apparent forgetfulness of from whence he came. But clearly, Turner is not one of papa’s favorites, as why would he forced her to give up her safe seat where, she lives, works and attends church in order to benefit a political nobody.
19. Mangrove Cay and South Andros
Ronald Bostfield, PLP Picewell Forbes DNA Wayde Ferguson Independent Whitney Bastian; Mr. Bostfield, (FNM) wins. This was Forbes seat to lose and that he did. That’s why he had to fight internally in the PLP to just keep his nomination. As for the Independent candidate, the Prime Minister done told Bastian from 2007, these elections to important to vote independent.
FNM Heather Hunt, PLP Jerome Fitzgerald, DNA Karen Davis; Mr. Fitzgerald (PLP) wins. Fitzgerald appears to be the better statesman, adding considerably more to the national debate than his opponents. Fitzgerald’s major issue is, that every time his constituents drive pass Saunders beach, they tend to laugh at him and shake their heads.
21. Marco City
FNM Norris Bain, PLP Greg Moss, DNA Tolonus Sands; uncertain but leaning towards Mr. Moss (PLP) wins. Laing just mess the FNM candidate right up. Grand Bahamians remember Laing well.
FNM Sidney Collie, PLP Alfred Grey, DNA Jamarl Chea; Mr.Grey (PLP) wins. I just don’t think Collie has what it takes. Another victim of late campaigning.
FNM Richard Lightbourn, PLP Frank Smith, DNA Ben Albury, Independent Graham Weatherford; uncertain but leaning towards Mr.Lightbourn (FNM) wins. Clearly Albury is the superior candidate. But alas, Montagu will vote party instead of for good representation.
24. Mount Moriah
FNM Tommy Turnquest, PLP Arnold Forbes, DNA Wayne Munroe; uncertain but leaning towards Mr. Forbes (PLP) wins. Everyone in the Bahamas will watch this race with baited breath to see Turnquest lose his seat. This election will be a referendum on whether he was a good Minister of National Security of not.
25. North Abaco
FNM Hubert Ingraham. PLP Renardo Curry, DNA Sonith Lockhart; Mr. Ingraham (FNM) wins. This is a given. He’s simply the best.
26. North Andros
FNM Desmond Bannister, PLP Perry Gomez, DNA Randy Butler; uncertain but leaning towards Mr. Bannister (FNM) wins. This seat can go either way. FNM, PLP or DNA. I just chose one. Androsians are a proud set of people, it will be interesting to see if they appreciate the spectacle they were forced to be embroiled in regarding the voter eligibility challenge.
27. Nassau Village
FNM Basil Moss, PLP Dion Smith, DNA Christopher Mortimer; Mr. Mortimer (DNA) wins. Mortimer spending all kinds of money in the Village and there is definitely noise in the market in the village. But the person who gells best with psyche of the people will win. The Village wants to vote for someone like them.
28. North Eleuthera
FNM Theo Neily, PLP Clay Sweeting, DNA George Taylor; Mr.Sweeting (PLP) wins. The conchie joes will vote for one of their own and Sweeting shines bright as the future.
FNM Kwasi Thompson, PLP Michael Darville, DNA Osman Johnson; Mr. Thompson (FNM) wins. Another interesting race. Darville has made huge inroads in Pineridge. However, Kwasi is well liked in Grand Bahama particularly since he has not proven himself to be an embarrassment to them like Neko Grant and Kenneth Russell.
FNM Bryan Woodside, PLP Khalis Rolle, DNA Wellington Woods; Mr. Rolle (PLP) wins. Woodside was an absentee representative, and with Pinewood having a huge youth population his entire representation should have been on youth development and empowerment; he was found wanting.
31. Sea Breeze
FNM, Carl Bethel, PLP Hope Strachan, DNA Alfred Poitier; uncertain but leaning towards Alfred Poitier (DNA) wins. Bethel is seen as being the worst Member of Parliament ever and Strachan aint that good either, Seabreeze is for Poitier to win or lose.
32. South Beach
FNM Monique Gomez, PLP Cleola Hamilton, DNA Wallace Rolle; Ms. Hamilton (PLP) wins. Personally I don’t think Wallace Rolle has the money to protest Gomez eligibility; and him being a former PLP candidate just aint helping him. South Beach is a swing vote section, but Neymour made it challenging for Gomez to win.
33. Southern Shores
FNM Kenyetta Gibson, PLP Kendred Dorsett, DNA Dr. Madlene Sawyer; Mr. Dorsett (PLP) wins. Most of the Bahamas remembers Gibson for kicking up Smith in the House. Sensible people don’t forget things like that. This race is between Dr. Sawyer and Dorsett.
34. St. Annes
FNM Hubert Chipman, PLP, Greg Burrows, DNA Prince Smith; Mr. Chipman (FNM) wins. Symonette sew this right up for Chipman.
35. Tall Pines
FNM Karen Butler, PLP Leslie Miller, DNA Dario Terrilli; Mr. Miller (PLP) wins. Miller is just a likable fellow, even when he runs out on utter nonsense.
36. The Exumas and Ragged island
FNM Pheton Neymour, PLP Anthony Moss, DNA Floyd Armbrister; uncertain but leaning towardsMr. Armbrister (DNA) wins. This is another tough call. Armbrister has been campaigning in Exuma for a long while.
37. West Grand Bahama and Bimini
FNM Pakeisha Edgecombe, PLP Obie Wilchcombe , DNA Roger Rolle; uncertain but leaning towards Mr. Wilchcombe (PLP) wins. I was listening to all the noise that Parker-Edgecombe gone with West Grand Bahama, until I saw Wilchcombe’s contingent to nomination day. Bimini will decide who will represent them in the House. But you know what is also interesting in Grand Bahama this election, every dang one seems to be related somehow: either they in-laws or they close cousins; And with Grand Bahama being tribal like those other family islands all kinds of family in fighting is expected after this general election. Rumor has it, Kenneth Russell and Vernice Grant plan to do a number on a particular party.
FNM Dion Foulkes, PLP Melanie Griffin, DNA Maurice Smith; uncertain but leaning towards Ms. Griffin, (PLP) wins. Apparently Foulkes suppose to be some master strategist in the FNM, just that he seems to lose every seat he has been sent to. He may be saved by the recent boundaries cuts, where he gained a number of the old St. Annes…but I say don’t sleep on Griffin.
So there you have it:
PLP 21 seats, FNM 14 seats DNA 3 seats…
What are your thoughts on these predictions?