Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Greater Portmore North by-election goes to PNP

Published:Tuesday | March 28, 2017 | 3:00 AMRuddy Mathison
Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson (left) with his People’s National Party Comrade, Councillor-elect Gary Nicholson, making their way on to the Ascot Primary School premises for the Greater Portmore North by-election, which Nicholson won yesterday.

Gary Nicholson, 46, won the Greater Portmore North division in a municipal by-election marred by low voter turnout - trend that has characterised elections in Jamaica over the last two decades.

After all 38 boxes were counted, Nicholson polled 2,125 votes, increasing the majority by 1,108 more votes than what were cast in the November 2016 local government elections to retain the division for the People's National Party (PNP).

The Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Ann Marie Lewis, who contested the division for the second time in less than six months, polled 994 votes, also increasing her total.

This means that Spanish Town Mayor Norman Scott will continue to be the chairman of the largest municipal corporation in the island with a one-seat majority, having won 21 divisions to the JLP's 20.

Nicholson, who could not cast a vote for himself because he does not live in the division, told The Gleaner-Power 106 News Centre that his victory represents a resounding rejection of the JLP policies.

"I am humbled by this victory in which I have increased the majority. My first order of business is to go to the people and say thanks," the elated Nicholson said. He disclosed that he would be addressing road conditions, dysfunctional street lights, and irregular water supply.

Meanwhile, Lewis said she was not prepared to accept the results at this time. "We are conducting some investigations, after which I will make a comment," she told The Gleaner.

The division was declared vacant after the death of the PNP's Michael Edwards in January, less than two months after winning the November vote.