Letters to the Editor

Of election victory margins

Friday, December 21, 2018

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Dear Editor,

A letter writer pointed out in the newspaper that this is “PNP country”.

I support the view of this writer for the following reason:

During the People's National Party's (PNP) 18 unbroken years in Government (1989-2007) — to the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) five — it is said that Government grew the garrisons/safe seats under its control to 15.

If true, this means the PNP enters each election with a 10-seat majority before the first ballot enters the box.

With the result of those 20 seats already secured, only 43 of our 63 parliamentary seats can be said to be democratically selected.

Of these 43 seats the JLP has to win 27 to take State power. Indeed, a tall ask.

Add to this, as the letter writer correctly pointed out, the JLP's strength is among the middle class, most of whom don't vote unless in an extraordinary case, as in 1980, when a record voter turnout swept the JLP to power with a massive victory margin.

Perhaps, someone like political historian Troy Caine could identify and name these garrisons/safe seats while highlighting their voting history.

Donald Plummer

St Andrew

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