The undercurrent of dissatisfaction rose to the surface on Thursday, September 16th, 2021 during the general election, where the majority of the less than 70 percent voter turnout on the island, voted out the incumbent members of parliament, like much of the country.
For Eleuthera that meant that North Eleuthera constituency Free National Movement (FNM) incumbent, Howard Rickey Mackey, lost his seat to first time Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) candidate, Sylvanus Petty. In Central and South Eleuthera, incumbent FNM Member of Parliament, Stephen Hank Johnson was defeated by PLP candidate, Clay Sweeting. Mr. Sweeting, previously a candidate in North Eleuthera, in this general election was successful in his switch to the Central and South Eleuthera constituency.
Unofficial results in North Eleuthera revealed a fairly close race, with Sylvanus Petty garnering 51.2% of votes cast – a total of 1,237, to Howard Rickey Mackey’s 1,140 votes (47.2%). In the Central and South Eleuthera constituency, with one polling division still outstanding, Clay Sweeting was the clear winner with 58.1% of reported votes cast – a total of 1,502, to Stephen Hank Johnson’s 974 votes (37.7%). In North Eleuthera, just 69% of the 3,515 registered voters turned up at the polls to cast their vote, with an even smaller number turning out in Central and South Eleuthera at 66% of the 3,904 voters registered.
Grand Commonwealth Party (GCM) candidates, Alphonso Albury for Central and South Eleuthera, and Dwight Cambridge in North Eleuthera, along with United Coalition Party (UCP) candidate McClain Pinder in North Eleuthera, all captured less than 1% of votes in their areas. UCP candidate for Central and South Eleuthera, Cassius Stuart received 3.3% of votes in his area.
At the airport in Cat Island earlier in the evening, new Prime Minister Elect, Philip Brave Davis, gave his victory speech after an earlier concession made by the former Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis. Mr. Davis was on his way to New Providence, where he is expected to be sworn in and to put together his new government in the coming days. In his speech, PM Elect Davis thanked a plethora of people, beginning with those who had made him the person he is today. Notably, he also commented that his new government would serve the entire Bahamian populace, regardless of political affiliation.
According to unofficial results, the Progressive Liberal Party is expected to have a majority of seats in Parliament. Full national results were not available at publication time, but will be provided in a subsequent update.