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#EastPortlandBattle | The Latest: Ann-Marie Vaz revels in by-election win

Published:Thursday | April 4, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Ann-Marie Vaz has a big laugh as Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressed jubilant Labourites in Portland Eastern following her by-election victory.
Jamaica Labour Party candidate Ann-Marie Vaz after casting her ballot at the Drapers All-Age School
A Jamaica Labour Party supporter greets an elector in the Portland Eastern by-election - Kenyon Hemans photo

Jamaica Labour Party political newcomer Ann-Marie Vaz has beaten the People's National Party's Damion Crawford to wrest the Portland Eastern seat from the Comrades after a 30-year dominance.

Vaz will join her husband, Daryl, on the Government benches in Gordon House and will be the first female Member of Parliament for Portland Eastern.

Here’s the latest on the by-election:

7:20 p.m 
Ann-Marie Vaz declared winner of the Portland Eastern by-election polling 306 more votes than the PNP's Damion Crawford. Vaz was elated with her win. She later told Labourites in Port Antonio that it was a statement for those who dared to dream. "Every woman, every man, every boy will understand that when you have a dream and you believe in that dream and you take the step, your dream will come true," she said. Vaz polled 9,917 votes to Crawford's 9,611.


5:00 p.m -
Polls declared closed in the East Portland by-election. A young woman was turned away at the Port Antonio Primary School despite arriving at 5 p.m. The Electoral Office workers at the polling stations will now count the ballots. Results are expected by 7 p.m. At the Port Antonio Primary School, however, 79-year-old Caroline Brown barely made the 5 o'clock deadline to cast her vote as she was hoisted by a PNP worker and rushed to teh voting centre. 

4:00 p.m - 
However, Crawford tells The Gleaner he hopes that the fact he is not a registered voter in the constituency will not affect the tonight’s by-election outcome.  "I hope not because Andrew Holness can’t vote in his constituency. He lives in Beverly Hills, he doesn’t live in Waterhouse," Crawford said referring to a community in Holness' St Andrew West Central constituency. 


3:00 p.m -  
The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) reported that the voter turnout in the Portland Eastern by-election was 47.32 per cent as at 3:00 p.m. The EOJ said the turnout between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the 2016 General Election was 34.84 per cent. Today’s polls opened at 7 o’ clock this morning and up to 11:00 a.m the turnout was 25.28 per cent. There are 36,315 registered voters in the constituency.



1:00 p.m - 
Superintendent Dwayne Wellington, the head of the Portland Police, says no incident has been reported to the law enforcement authorities since the polls opened at 7:00 a.m. "I am sitting in the control centre and I have not seen any reports of any incident," he told The Gleaner. Some 36,315 people are eligible to vote in the by-election to elect a replacement for Dr Lynvale Bloomfield who was killed on February 2.



12:00 p.m -
St Ann North West Member of Parliament Dr Dayton Campbell says the PNP has been executing according to plans in bring our voters in Portland Eastern. Campbell, speaking with The Gleaner in Boston said the PNP was carrying out a "surgical operation".  "We'll continue to execute for the rest of the day to ensure that at the end of the day we deliver what our commitment is to our overall target," he said.


11:05 a.m -
JLP candidate for Portland Eastern Ann-Marie Vaz casts her ballot at the Drapers All-Age School in Fairy Hill, Portland. Her husband, Daryl, voted minutes earlier. 
"I am on top of the world," Mrs Vaz said. "I am thrilled that I just exercised my right in an election that is going to be the start of a new day in the constituency of Eastern Portland".