Morrison wins big in St Catherine North East
Former government senator Kerensia Morrison has extended the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) streak of victories in St Catherine North East, defeating Oswest Senior Smith of the People’s National Party (PNP) in Thursday’s general election.
Morrison had only six weeks to campaign after she was given the nod by the party to replace Leslie Campbell, who decided not to seek re-election. From all indications, the former senator had a better ground operation than her PNP counterpart, getting out the youth voters who found her campaign style to be more attractive.
Preliminary results showed Morrison polling 5,989 votes to Smith’s 3,312. Having scored victory by more than 2,000 votes, Morrison has achieved what no other JLP candidate in the constituency has accomplished since EK Powell in 1980, who had a 5,752 margin win.
But despite her big win, only 9,301 electors from the list of 23,494 eligible voters turned up to cast their ballots in the election, a decline of 2,452 from the 11,753 who voted in 2016, an election Leslie Campbell won by 122 votes.
“I discover quickly that the people wanted a politician that will engage and not one who talks down to them,” Morrison told The Gleaner following her victory.
“Too many of us underestimated the youth from rural areas, often thinking that they are backward. This is one of the biggest mistakes made by politicians,” she added.
“The youth are bright and know what they want. They are asking for skills training. They want someone like a big sister who will not ignore them, but talk to them,” Morrison stated.
Morrison is expected to address the water crisis, road rehabilitation, unemployment, and skills training for the youth, pledges she made during the election campaign.
Nicolas Russell, who voted for the PNP in the 2016 general election and cast his ballot in favour of Morrison yesterday, said that the youth who supported the MP-elect want progress and improvement in the constituency.
“As youth, we decided to give her a chance to prove to us that she is the one to shake up things in the constituency, but if she fails to deliver, she and her party will be over. This is the last chance for the JLP,” Russell warned.