Wed | Sep 23, 2020

Newcomer keen to widen gap on JLP in Clarendon SW

Published:Tuesday | August 11, 2020 | 12:13 AM
Prospective People’s National Party candidate for Clarendon South Western, Lothan Cousins (second right), engages with constituents seeking to shore up votes.
Prospective People’s National Party candidate for Clarendon South Western, Lothan Cousins (second right), engages with constituents seeking to shore up votes.

Lothan Cousins, the man set to replace Noel Arscott on the ballot in Clarendon South Western for the People’s National Party (PNP), has insisted that his party’s superior political machinery on the ground will ensure the seat remains in its winning column in the upcoming general election.

Over the past four general elections, the PNP has not been able to hold a steady margin against the JLP in Clarendon South Western. In fact, while in 2011, Arscott secured the largest margin over the period, for the 2007 and 2016 elections, the PNP’s votes have been dipping, cycle on cycle.

The JLP’s support, however, has been on the increase, albeit marginally, although the party’s candidates have not been able to break the 6,000-vote bracket to the give the PNP a cause for concern.

Cousins told The Gleaner that he was looking to increase the margin of victory when voters are called to the polls.

“Based on my candidacy, a lot of people, they are looking at a wider margin, given the fact I am young, I am from the area, I am a lawyer and I have a proven track record of community service,” he said.

The PNP has been conducting extensive training of party workers in the constituency and door-to-door activities have been stepped up as it moves to shore up its stocks for the yet-to-be-announced general election.

According to the Cousins, the Comrades supporting him are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the election date.

“Most things have been going smoothly. The transition from the current member of parliament to me has been going smoothly. We have a very good working relationship and the Comrades are very upbeat,” he said.

“We have done the work at the community level, not just political work, and so the persons on the ground from both sides have said that they are going to give me the nod, so I am confident,” Cousins added.

The September 14, 2019 run-off to find Arscott’s replacement, which Cousins won, had opened wounds in the PNP machinery in the constituency. It was complicated by the decision by Arscott, the incumbent, to back Peter Bunting in the divisive failed presidential challenge to Dr Peter Phillips last year.

When ask about the harmony now, Cousins told The Gleaner that there was now no bad blood and that party’s supported have united to move forward.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com

Clarendon SW voting history

2002

Joel Williams (JLP): 4,971

Charles Learmond (PNP): 6,952

Margin: 1,981

2007

Joel Williams (JLP): 5,675

Noel Arscott (PNP): 6,913

Margin: 1,238

2011

Joel Williams (JLP): 5,555

Noel Arscott (PNP): 7,711

Margin: 2,156

2016

Kent Gammon (JLP): 5,687

Noel Arscott (PNP): 7,257

Margin: 1,570