Fri | Jan 19, 2018

It is not difficult, Portia tells Comrades

Published:Friday | February 19, 2016 | 2:49 PM
Portia Simpson Miller ... "Get in the communities, be on the field. Do not give in, do not give up, it is not difficult."

Days after the publication of a Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson poll found her party four points ahead of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP),  Portia Simpson Miller has told party workers to fight to the very end to secure victory.

"Get in the communities, be on the field. Do not give in, do not give up, it is not difficult and I am sure on the night of the elections we all will be smiling," she said at a mass meeting in Papine, St Andrew Eastern Wednesday night.

The People's National Party is seeking to steer her party into a second term having won 42 of the 63 seats in the House of Representatives in 2011, seven of which were won with margins of fewer than 300 votes.

Comrades from two of those marginal seats converged in Papine, St Andrew at a mass meeting on Wednesday.

In 2011, St Andrew Eastern was won by Andre Hylton by a 254-vote margin, ending the reign of the Jamaica Labour Party which up to that point had the seat for two terms back-to-back.

The JLP's candidate is Fayval Williams.

"Under no conditions will labourites get back Norman Manley's constituency of Eastern St Andrew," said Hylton who is considered vulnerable.

Mindful of the St Andrew Eastern community of August Town as the cradle for many musical output, Simpson Miller said a new PNP administration will create a special fund to assist players in the creative sector.

In another battleground constituency of St Andrew East Rural, Imani Duncan Price will face off with the JLP's Juliet Holness, the wife of Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

Simpson Miller used Wednesday's rally to outline the achievements of the PNP in the last four years and to point to way forward for the next term.

She spoke to the expansion of the Business Process Outsourcing sector, adding that her administration encouraged the creation of 18,000 jobs in the sector over the past four years and is projecting another 18,000 in the next term.

Coffee farmers in the Blue Mountain range have been promised more assistance.

"The farmers in the hills of St Andrew can look forward to a better future with the peoples national party," Simpson Miller said.

Simpson Miller has been on the campaign trail since last November telling comrades to get ready for elections.

"Where I have been on the campaign trail so far in all of those constituencies, I can report things are going extremely well for the People's National Party," she said.

Seats won by 300 or less in 2011 election

St Andrew West Rural  - 237 (PNP's Paul Buchanan)

St Andrew Eastern - 254 (PNP's Andre Hylton)

St Andrew East Rural  - 259 (PNP's Damion Crawford)

St Mary Western - 227 (PNP's Jolyan Silvera)

St James East Central - 174 (JLP's Ed Bartlett)

Hanover Eastern - 251 (PNP's DK Duncan)

St Elizabeth South West - 13 (PNP's Hugh Buchanan)

South East Clarendon - 107 (JLP's Rudyard Spencer)

St James Central 98  (PNP's Lloyd B Smith)