Friday, May 4, 2012

2012 general election constituency breakdown... ...possible winners and losers on May 07, 2012

Constituency Breakdown


THE 2012 general election is shaping up to be one of the most sulfurously partisan polls in recent years. This election, the Bahamian electorate must choose only the most progressive and visionary of a fluid field of hopefuls seeking their votes, whilst shedding certain current MPs like a septuagenarian sheds hair and teeth.

As the clock ticks away and May 7 is clearly on the horizon, any person who underestimates the impact of the DNA in certain constituencies—particularly those constituencies that were decided by 100 or less votes in 2007 (and 2010, in the case of Elizabeth)—would be making a colossal misjudgment (although I don’t believe they will win any seats).

Frankly, both the PLP and the FNM have done a fairly good job of infusing fresh faces into the 2012 line-up as both parties—especially the PLP—had certain representatives who were, and continue to be, carriers of more baggage than a conclave of bellmen.

Indeed, in this political pageant, we can see the emergence of a new generation of political leaders who I hope are prepared and willing to put national interest above narrow party and political considerations. Frankly, this election—being the last in the age of Ingraham—will be won by the party who not only addresses the issues, but who can also woo non-ideological, independent voters.

With a nomination day count of 133 persons seeking to represent the Bahamian public in a fight for 38 seats, among the strong and seasoned contenders is a slew of peripheral figures, and a series of wannabes and also-ran candidates. This sycophantic election cycle has spawned a noxious political environment where we’ve heard political rhetoric spouted by some of the most proficient spinners since Rumpelstiltskin.

As May 7 draweth nigh, the political showdown is rapidly devolving into a time of incivility as reckless behaviour and the architects of lies, revisionist spin, braggadocio and petulant whining goes into full swing—some of this stuff can only be categorized as the utterances and actions of nincompoops.

Whilst a geyser of special interest money will soon—if not already—flood the streets, I urge Bahamians to focus on substance, candour and credibility and to elect representatives who have a pragmatic plan for their communities as opposed to becoming enraptured in the absurd displays of buffoonery by certain politicians and their goons.

That said, now as a 27-year-old, May 7 will mark my second opportunity to cast my vote and I am—like most young Bahamians—fired up and ready to go to the polls.

Indeed, as the ham/turkey, washers/dryers, catchy songs, booze-filled grill and chills, bright- coloured T-shirts and cold hard cash comes out, I remain hopeful that a more edified electorate will reject political paternalism and demand that the substantive societal/national issues are addressed.

Today, I’ve decided to once again don my monk’s garb and attempt to read the political tea leaves, making electoral projections relative to the political odds of the candidates contesting seats in the upcoming general election. Noticeably, my political crystal ball is foggy relative to certain seats, which I will leave as toss-ups. One can decide for themselves, after reading and tallying up the projections, which party I feel is likely to win the election.

Bain Town and Grants Town

The Bain Town and Grants Town seat is likely to remain in the PLP column, as Dr Bernard Nottage will jettison FNM newcomer John Bostwick—son of Janet and Henry Bostwick—to the political dustbin. When Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and his team commenced a walkabout in the area last week, I was perplexed to see Dr Nottage’s ill-advised behaviour and the tomfoolery of supporters who were obviously following his lead. Dr Nottage, in my opinion, behaved like a politically frightened incumbent and could’ve been more likened to a hell-and-damnation preacher man who lives on the boondocks—shouting/talking in Tommy Turnquest’s face—as opposed to the cultured, centred OB/GYN that myself, and the general public, has come to know.

In Bain Town and Grant’s Town, John Bostwick’s candidacy is comparable to a kitten being thrown into a pool! Bostwick will be beaten by tradition.

Bamboo Town

Bamboo Town will have a new MP following this general election as FNM-turned-DNA leader Branville McCartney will be forced to eat the sour grapes of defeat.

Prior to him forming the DNA, Mr McCartney was a shoo-in on the FNM ticket, however it is believed that he has committed Ingraham-assisted political suicide and will be treated like an unwanted stepson on May 7th. The political sands have shifted and, frankly, McCartney’s electoral hopes are on a hamster wheel and going nowhere fast!

Bran McCartney is a leading candidate for political oblivion and, whilst he has been a good MP, due to the boundary cut—which incorporated seven polling divisions from the traditionally PLP- voting Kennedy constituency into the reconfigured Bamboo Town—he is on the fast track to becoming a political one hit wonder. These days, the DNA leader is seen as an FNM who has gone rogue and who—beyond the reams of hype and the perception of him as a glib pretty boy with a messianic deportment—appears to be a bit too green (pun intended).

That said, the race for Bamboo Town will do down to the wire, as FNM candidate Cassius Stuart, PLP Renward Wells and Independent candidate Craig Butler are all formidable challengers.

Frankly, Mr Butler’s noteworthy campaign has thrown a “monkey wrench” into the showdown for Bamboo Town. Butler will prove to be a headache for his opponents and would have literally been unstoppable if he was also on a major party’s ticket. He has disrupted the political status quo and stands as good a chance as any of winning the Bamboo Town seat.

There is one certainty in the Bamboo Town race and that is, for the first time ever, Cassius Stuart—after losing $1200 in deposit money previously—will at least have his deposit returned to him.

Bamboo Town is a toss-up!


FNM candidate for Carmichael, Darren Cash, will be beaten like a piƱata in that constituency.

Cash is a political featherweight who seems to be an intelligent gentleman who unfortunately is unable to connect with ordinary folks.

Quite honestly, he comes off as a monotonous snore who appears to have neither razzle nor dazzle.

Moreover, I’ve heard allegations by some residents of Carmichael that they will vote against Cash because they purportedly didn’t feel that he was sympathetic and compassionate towards them as homeowners—in his capacity as a banker—when they faced mortgage woes.

Dr Danny Johnson (PLP) will capture the seat.

Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador

The Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador contest is shaping up to be an interesting electoral battle. Admittedly, since his loss to James Miller, Philip “Brave” Davis has paid his dues with the PLP and has seemingly garnered a reputation as the emperor of Cat Island rather than previous references as an absentee MP.

That said, Mr Davis has been beaten before and is now facing a serious challenger in Michael Pintard (FNM). Mr Pintard is an orator and has the FNM’s machinery backing him. Previously, Pintard ran in 1997 against PLP leader Perry Christie and was sent packing.

Pintard will make the race for the Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador seat competitive as he is spending quite a bit of time on the ground contrasted to Mr Davis—also PLP Deputy leader—who has to campaign nationally.

This is likely to be a race to the bitter end, with Mr Davis sitting in a most advantageous

position and likely to put a spanking on Pintard.

Central and South Abaco

PLP candidate Gary Sawyer will have to once again reach for a crying towel in the Central and South Abaco constituency. Edison Key will politically body slam Sawyer in that race.

That said, DNA candidate Roscoe Thompson is expected to be a viable threat to the FNM’s retention of this seat. However, he’s likely to join Sawyer in the losers’ column. This contest will probably render a strong showing by the DNA.

Central and South Eleuthera

The Central and South Eleuthera seat is a battleground seat. The appending of Central Eleuthera to the traditionally PLP South Eleuthera stronghold, among other factors, puts the political momentum in Howard Johnson’s (FNM) favour.

Johnson is a homegrown chap and his mother’s (Emily Petty’s) switch from hardcore PLP stalwart councilor to support her son could have a positive impact upon Johnson’s electoral chances. Frankly, if Governor’s Harbour—Johnson’s homestead—overwhelmingly votes in support of him, that immediately hampers PLP candidate Damian Gomez’s chances. Closer examination of that race shows that current MP Oswald Ingraham—who ran four times, losing twice in 1992 and 1997 to then FNM MP Anthony Miller—would have to, in large part, become a surrogate candidate and extend goodwill to Gomez for him to be victorious. By all accounts, Mr Ingraham wanted to run again but was unceremoniously dumped in favour of Gomez.

If Howard Johnson wins Governors Harbour, Palmetto Point, Rock Sound and breaks even in other settlements, he should win the seat. If Johnson polls well in the traditionally PLP-leaning deep south—Wemyss Bight, Deep Creek, Green Castle, etc—then he’s likely to become the MP.

As it stands, this will be close race and it’s highly likely that Damian Gomez will suffer a politically sobering loss. The political thrust is with Johnson, so he’s likely to politically beat the snot out of Damian Gomez!

Central Grand Bahama

The Central Grand Bahama seat will be won by Neko Grant (FNM). Mr Grant is running in traditionally FNM areas and will torpedo his opponents electoral hopes—Julian Russell (PLP) and Howard Grant Jr (DNA)—winning by a comfortable margin of 700 or more votes. Frankly, Julian Russell brings little appeal to the PLP’s Grand Bahama ticket and should hit the panic button and politically jump overboard now.

Relative to Howard Grant Jr—son of outgoing FNM MP Vernae Grant—my guess is that he’s running on principle, seemingly feeling that his mother was treated unfairly when her seat was eliminated and she wasn’t re-nominated. He has promise but will find that, in 2012, his candidacy is a mere pipe dream.


PLP leader Perry Christie will eat Ella Lewis’ (FNM) and Celi Moss’ (DNA) lunch in Centreville. Both of Mr Christie’s challengers will fall like sand through a sieve and be set on the treadmill to oblivion.

Frankly, Mr Christie has been returned to his political base—Centreville—where his family lived. No former Prime Minister/Premier has ever been defeated—not Ingraham, Christie, Pindling, Symonette—so the likelihood of that happening this election cycle is nil to none.

East Grand Bahama

In East Grand Bahama, outgoing FNM MP Kenneth Russell is supporting his sister-in-law, DNA candidate Ferline Bridgewater-Thomas. It will be interesting to see if his base and strongest supporters shift with him. I doubt it though.

FNM candidate Peter Turnquest will rout all challengers for the East Grand Bahama seat.


The clash for the reconfigured Elizabeth constituency will be intense and will undoubtedly leave at least one candidate in diapers after the votes are counted.

The inclusion of the more FNM-inclined Port New Providence and Treasure Cove gated communities, and the splitting of the PLP-leaning Elizabeth Estates area to put one half into Yamacraw and another half into Elizabeth, bodes well for FNM candidate and cardiovascular surgeon Dr Duane Sands. The new Elizabeth is truly reflective of wider Bahamian society, featuring a mixture of persons from lower socio-economic means to high strata.

The race for Elizabeth, whilst likely to be hotly contested, features three of the best candidates in tax attorney Ryan Pinder (PLP), banker Charlene Paul (DNA) and Dr Sands. A recently published survey, conducted by a company that I’m affiliated with (Silver Lining Enterprises), shows that the DNA will also poll well in this constituency.

As it stands, it appears that Dr Sands will give Mr Pinder—who is one of only a handful of MPs whose exciting Parliamentary debates and debating style is always riveting—a black needle.

According to some observers, the race for Elizabeth will cost a mountain of dollars.


FNM candidate Caron Shepherd would be better of counting and watching sheep rather than vying for the Englerston seat. In a matchup with Glenys Hanna-Martin (PLP), Ms Shepherd is running in quick sand and sinking fast. She is a major also-ran challenger among a slew of other minor opponents contesting for the Englerston seat.

Englerston—which is now amalgamated with parts of the former St. Cecilia constituency—has never voted FNM and will, I believe, give Mrs Hanna-Martin one of the largest margins of victory in the general election.

Seemingly, the inner-city PLP-leaning seats have been lumped into one massive voting block, with Englerston and St. Cecilia now being one seat and extending as far as Yellow Elder on its western boundaries and nearly as far east as Sea Breeze.

Relative to this seat, contestants such as Paul Rolle (Independent), Alex Morley (Independent), S Ali McIntosh (BCP) and Nicholas Jacques (DNA) will all lose their deposits. Thanks to them the Public Treasury is set to collect $1,600.

Exumas and Ragged Island

Anthony Moss (PLP) may lack the political horsepower to recapture the Exumas and Ragged Island seat as many residents express displeasure with his lackluster representation.

Phenton Neymour (FNM) could edge out the PLP incumbent as Mr Moss is said to be unpopular in the Exuma Cays and has rendered a performance that is purportedly the reason for voter discontent. Frankly, there are only two serious contenders in this race and, key to the fight for this seat, is who wins the cays and George Town. I’m told that Moss is being supported by many in the Baptist church—where he’s very active—and that even Baptist Pastor Dr William Thompson is on the campaign trail for him.

Fort Charlotte

The Fort Charlotte constituency—aka Killarney B— should be a political duel. The fact that the boundaries extend further into what used to be Dr Hubert Minnis’ Killarney seat—all the way to the Cable Beach roundabout—makes the contest even more electrifying.

The face-off in this highly competitive race is between former NDP leader Dr Andre Rollins (PLP) and Zhivargo Laing (FNM), although DNA candidate Mark Humes is expected to get a handful of votes himself.

As it stands, both Dr Rollins and Mr Laing are seen as political journeymen, Mr Laing being a political acolyte of PM Ingraham. I live in the Fort Charlotte constituency and, frankly, some residents have stated to me that they question whether, in the case of Dr Rollins, he has a wide-eyed infatuation with power and would wobble on any position to attain it. Relative to Mr Laing, it has been noted that in his past, he has alienated voters with what many perceived to have been his impatient demeanour, a patronizing and condescending approach when speaking to people and an intolerance to divergent views.

Mr Laing used to be the MP in this constituency, which he lost in 2002, and subsequently relocated to Grand Bahama where he has most recently represented the Marco City seat.

How does Mr Laing’s move play out in the minds of his former constituents, many of whom are asking if he returned to New Providence because he sensed that he was in a deficit position politically?

Two days ago, I read a booklet delivered to my house (and that of other residents) explaining Mr. Laing’s move to Grand Bahama due to pressing family and business-related reasons and I accept that. Undoubtedly, his attempt to explain his plan and his movements over the last 12 years will be noted by most residents. What particularly stood out to me was his character pledge to be “honest, humble, hardworking, accessible, responsive, in touch and productive.” Whatever happens, I intend to hold him accountable and true to his words.

Both gentlemen vying for my vote, and that of thousands of other constituents, are articulate, noteworthy and youthful men. May the best man win!

Fox Hill

Shonell Ferguson’s (FNM) candidacy in Fox Hill reminds me of a wilting candle and she will be rendered a seat less wonder. By all accounts, current MP Fred Mitchell (PLP) has been a visible, hardworking MP, thereby leaving his opponent with a long, tough journey to the polls with her status as a “Fox Hill gal” to have no bearing on the contest.

Garden Hills

Whilst incumbent Brensil Rolle (FNM) has the advantage, the Garden Hills seat could still go either way. Garden Hills has come to be known as one of the swing seats, vacillating between FNM and PLP representatives in recent elections. That said, whilst Dr Kendal Major (PLP) is said to be a hardnosed campaigner, Mr Rolle is quite popular on the ground and, considering the population shifts in the constituency due to the construction and sale of houses in newly constructed housing subdivisions, he may have the advantage in the electoral showdown.

Golden Gates

FNM challenger Winsome Miller is a no-hoper who will “win none” in Golden Gates. PLP incumbent Shane Gibson, by all accounts, has been a good MP and is likely to retain his seat.

Mrs Miller is on the FNM’s B-Team, has failed to impress and is, in my opinion, one of the FNM’s weakest links in the South West.

Golen Isles

In Golden Isles, I once thought that Charles Maynard (FNM) would be like Humpty Dumpty and have a great political fall. However, with a favourable boundary cut and a reputation as a political ground hog, I’m going to forecast him to retain his seat.

In the Golden Isles seat, it is unfortunate that Michael Halkitis—seemingly an all-around good guy and a rising powerhouse—will lose his bid to be re-elected to a seat that he held from 2002 to 2007.


In the electoral race for Killarney, Jerome Gomez (PLP) and Prodesta Moore (DNA) will fall like sand through an hour glass in an electoral head-to-head with Dr Hubert Minnis. If any of those contenders beat Dr Minnis, I would stop writing this column for a month. The doctor is a rising powerhouse within the FNM and most likely to be its next leader. No doubt, one expects to hear of fits of hysteria, uncontrollable crying and recurring nightmares from his snubbed challengers who have already greased their own political skids by being brazen enough to accept a nod to challenge one of the nation's best MPs.

Long Island

Loretta Butler-Turner (FNM) needs to permanently stay in Long Island for the next week or so.

The people of Long Island—my home town—are complaining that she comes there for brief periods, pops in-and-out and returns to Nassau whilst her PLP challenger Alex Storr has taken up residence and the DNA candidate, Mario Cartwright, is already a longtime businessman and permanently lives there.

If Mrs Butler-Turner is fooled by the notion that Long Islanders will merely vote for her because she’s an FNM, she could find herself shell-shocked as they would vote in protest just to send her a message.

Of late, I’ve discovered that former FNM Attorney General Tennyson Wells is actively campaigning for Mr Storr and that his sister, former Director of Education Iris Pinder, is Mr. Storr’s campaign manager.

Whilst I still expect Mrs Butler-Turner to win, it will be unlike the 2007 race in Montagu, where she won by a margin of 68 per cent. I suggest that PM Ingraham travels to the island and calls a mass rally. Long Islanders want to feel as if their MP will be with them all the time, not merely for brief periods during election season. And that’s a memo!

Mangrove Cay and South Andros

Incumbent MP Picewell Forbes (PLP) and FNM challenger Ronald Bostfield are two dreadful major party candidates vying for the Mangrove Cay and South Andros seat. Independent challenger and former MP Whitney Bastian will politically wipe the floor with both of his major opponents.

The residents of this constituency have indicated to me that they want to do like the Arabs and politically throw their shoes—i.e. votes—against the incumbent. Mr Forbes, whose “Speak Up” talk show I grew up listening to on Long Island, will suffer a humiliating loss to Independent Whitney Bastian and will likely be going the way of the Dodo—that is, political extinction.


The race for the Marathon seat is a run-off that is too close to call. Although it is currently represented by an outgoing FNM MP, PLP challenger Jerome Fitzgerald has purportedly made a lot of headway in that constituency over the last two years.

That said, FNM challenger Heather Hunt appears to be a bright young attorney who has as good a chance as any of capturing this seat. Moreover, the boundary cut—which extends Marathon into the FNM-leaning Blair community—should bode well for Mrs Hunt. The Marathon seat is a fifty-fifty chance of breaking either way!

Marco City

The odds were stacked against the outgoing MP for Marco City, however, the FNM’s nomination of well-respected educator and basketball coach Norris Bain will likely put this seat into the FNM’s win column. Bain is further strengthened by the addition of two FNM-leaning polling divisions from Lucaya and one from High Rock.


FNM challenger Sidney Collie will be politically sucker-punched in MICAL. Current MP V. Alfred Gray is likely to retain the seat in a race—between two home town boys—that’s set to be a carnivorous affair. Any expectancy of Mr Collie winning his seat is only comparable to waiting for VAT 19 (liquor) to turn 20!

Sidney Collie is a banana peel away from slipping into the political abyss for, as German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche stated, “if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”


PLP MP Frank Smith will be sent packing in Montagu and, after this election, find himself banished to the political wilderness. Mr Smith’s impoliteness has earned the ire of the Prime Minister and so it appears that the full weight of both the Prime Minister’s office (boundary cuts, etc) and the FNM’s electoral machinery has come down upon him.

The DNA’s candidate Ben Albury is expected to have a strong showing in this race, with independent candidate Graham Weatherford providing some comic relief and heated, provocative rhetoric.

Whilst I expect FNM candidate Richard Lightbourn to win the seat, it will not be by 2007 margins as Mr Lightbourn is not seen as a politically attractive candidate but rather one whose good fortune is to have been nominated to contest a staunchly FNM/UBP seat.

Mount Moriah

Tommy Turnquest is likely to recapture the Mount Moriah seat (aka Killarney C), which is another seat that now extends into Dr Minnis’ former Killarney constituency with hopes of attaining favourable electoral reforms. I must applaud Mr Turnquest for his handling of the embarrassing episode in Bain Town, which left him seeming poised and statesman-like, contrasted to Dr Bernard Nottage who was constantly sounding off like an empty cymbal.

Frankly, what Dr Nottage should have done was to assemble a welcome brigade for the PM and his team and walk with them, taking the opportunity to perhaps gain political mileage by highlighting the concerns and needs of constituents and any failures on their part to address the issues facing Bain Town residents from 2007 to present.

Arnold Forbes (PLP) seems to be a likable, worthy challenger but he will take a shellacking in this election cycle. DNA candidate Wayne Munroe will have little to no serious impact.

Nassau Village

The Nassau Village seat features one of the dreariest match-ups this election cycle. I was also unimpressed by the selection of Basil Moss to be the FNM’s standard bearer in Nassau Village.

However, after watching him on Bahamas at Sunrise earlier this week, I must say that I thought he did well.

PLP candidate for Nassau Village—attorney Dion Smith—is one of those head scratching nominations. At the PLP’s candidates’ launch, Smith rendered a putrid performance and appeared to be nothing short of an unimpressive, phony-sounding political neophyte who, at best, is a mediocre candidate. Mr Smith appears to be a nondescript, deer-in-the-headlight nominee who is perhaps one of the PLP’s worst candidates.

Indeed, when it comes to the PLP and the FNM, the nominees for the Nassau Village seat must be the most bland and uninteresting nominations for the 2012 general election. The pickings are slim and, as it stands, I would have to say that DNA candidate Chris Mortimer is the most appealing of the trio of candidates seeking to represent that constituency. However, Mr. Mortimer—whilst one of the DNA’s strongest candidates—will not win in what has come to be known as a PLP stronghold. I expect Mr Smith to be elected the MP for that area with Mr. Mortimer perhaps having one of the strongest showings of any DNA candidate. Frankly, Mortimer is one to watch for the 2017 general election as I believe that by then, he’s likely to be picked off and among a slate of major party (i.e. FNM/PLP) candidates.

North Abaco

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham (FNM) has an exploitable mismatch in the North Abaco race, which is being contested by Renardo Curry (PLP) and Sonith Lockhart (DNA). Mr Ingraham is the FNM’s MVP (Most Valuable Politician) and has done wonders for the island of Abaco and its development.

The notion, by PLPs that Mr Curry could beat Mr Ingraham is merely to fool that young man to proceed to the political gallows although he knows that he couldn’t win even in his playground dreams. Child, please! I have a better chance of becoming President of the United States than Mr. Curry has of beating Mr. Ingraham. This will be an historic rebuke!

North Andros and the Berry Islands

The North Andros and the Berry Islands constituency race features three of the best contenders in this political cycle. Desmond Bannister (FNM), Dr Perry Gomez (PLP) and Randy Butler (DNA) are all well-respected and could all serve as MPs in their own right.

However, this election cycle the political door will be slammed in the faces of Gomez and Butler. Frankly, I believe that at his age Dr Gomez should have stayed away from the political front lines and instead enjoyed the twilight of his medical career without any nightmares of being politically manhandled by Desmond Bannister.

North Eleuthera

The North Eleuthera constituency should be an exciting race to watch. The run-off between Theo Neilly (FNM)—an airport manager and local government chief councilor—and Spanish Wells fisherman and fellow local government councilor Clay Sweeting (PLP) is expected to be a hotly contested affair. Mr Neilly should win the seat.


Current MP Kwasi Thompson has been an outstanding representative, whilst PLP challenger Dr. Michael Darville—who has a medical practice in the constituency—has also earned much praise from residents.

Frankly, I still believe that the PLP should have nominated Dr Darville in the Marco City constituency, as he is not overwhelmingly favoured to beat Mr Thompson. That said, Dr. Darville is a formidable candidate and, whilst Mr Thompson holds a slight edge at this time, the quality of the candidates vying for the voters support in this race could cause the pendulum to swing either way. This race will certainly be a nail biter.


The Pinewood seat is a toss-up!

Although, like the Klingons, FNM MP Byron Woodside has mastered the art of invisibility—in terms of his ministerial portfolio—by all accounts he has done a creditable job in his constituency. However, Pinewood has long been a PLP stronghold and Khaalis Rolle could—depending on changes within the voting bloc and the luck of the political draw—capitalize on the extensive love affair this constituency has had with the PLP. The race for Pinewood will no doubt be close and quite competitive.

Sea Breeze

Hope Strachan (PLP) will puncture the ego of a cocky guy in Sea Breeze. Outgoing FNM MP Carl Bethel, who has become a nowhere man of Bahamian politics, will suffer an ego-busting defeat in Sea Breeze.

In 2007, Mrs Strachan lost by 64 votes after campaigning in the constituency for just six weeks!

South Beach

Monique Gomez (FNM) is likely to win the South Beach seat over Cleola Hamilton (PLP) who is becoming increasing unpopular among constituents.

Southern Shores

The Southern Shores contest is the race between three PLPs—two of whom are now members of the FNM and the DNA. Whilst I believe that Kenyatta Gibson (FNM) may hold a slight edge, Kenred Dorsett is a strong opponent and the impact of DNA candidate Dr Madeline Sawyer could also affect the outcome. The seat is too close to call!

St Anne’s

Accountant Hubert Chipman (FNM) will win the St Anne’s seat, with the only question being, “by how much?”

Outgoing MP Brent Symonette won by nearly 64 per cent of the votes (990-plus votes) cast in the St Annes constituency in the last general election, so one waits to see if Mr Chipman, upon dispatching PLP candidate Greg Burrows, will have a similar margin of victory.

Tall Pines

Leslie Miller (PLP) will politically extinguish Karen Butler (FNM) in Tall Pines. Ms Butler is a sacrificial lamb and her chances could only be great in her own imagination. Mr Miller, a self-described pot cake, is a political groundhog and will politically clobber Ms Butler.

West Grand Bahama and Bimini

The West Grand Bahama and Bimini seat is most interesting. Incumbent Obie Wilchcombe (PLP), the presumed frontrunner, is in a hotly contested race against Pakeisha Edgecombe (FNM) in what will be one of the most watched electoral races in 2012. A review of the seat shows that parts of the Eight Mile Rock settlement—Hanna Hill, Pinedale, Martin Town and Russell Town—which are now in the reconfigured constituency are more PLP-leaning areas, whilst FNM-leaning areas such as Queens Cove have been added to Pineridge or appended to Central Grand Bahama. Bimini which has about 1000 votes has been nearly evenly split over the last 30 years. Besides Mr Wilchcombe, former PLP MP Henry Bowen is the only other person—based on polling data—to win Bimini in two consecutive elections.

In the race for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, I would give incumbent Obie Wilchcombe the edge over Edgecombe in favour of his retention of the seat.


Lastly, Yamacraw will be a battle royale between Melanie Griffin (PLP) and Dion Foulkes (FNM). Over the years, Mrs Griffin has been said to have a stranglehold on the seat and the addition of half of the Elizabeth Estates community to her seat appears to strengthen her. That said, challenger Dion Foulkes, a political groundhog and a veteran, will prove to be no push over. For now, I’ll categorize the race in Yamacraw as a toss-up!

The upcoming general election will be a political circus and a helluva election season which will leave, upon its conclusion, quite a number of sitting MPs and electoral hopefuls shell-shocked and reaching for a crying towel!