THE EDITOR, Sir:
Come March 26, the electorate will pay yet another visit to the polling station to cast their votes in support of the 478 candidates who were nominated on March 5, 2012 for the 15th local government elections to be held since 1947.
It is interesting to note that the People's National Party (PNP) has won eight local government elections to the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) five, independents having won the 1947 elections. Will history be repeated in this upcoming local government election?
Can the JLP repeat the feat of June 19, 2003 when, for the first time, that party won local government elections during the incumbency of the governing PNP? The JLP not only won the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC), but also 10 of the 12 parish councils, with the PNP winning only Westmoreland and ending up with a tie in Clarendon.
This was, indeed, a shock result for the governing PNP, as in the October 16, 2002 parliamentary general election, that party had won 124 of the 227 electoral divisions, the JLP winning the other 103.
The June 19, 2003 results were quite a reversal of the October 16, 2002 election as of the 227 electoral divisions, the JLP won 125 to the PNP's 101, and there was a tie in the Annotto Bay division, the PNP receiving 1,768 votes to the JLP's 1,768.
Now for the projected results of the March 26, 2012 local government elections. At the time of writing this article, the PNP enjoys a comfortable lead over the JLP, with 113 safe electoral divisions to the JLP's 75. Forty electoral divisions may be categorised as marginal.
A careful examination of the 40 marginal electoral divisions gives the PNP enough support to regain control of the KSAC, and the St Mary, St James, St Elizabeth and St Catherine parish councils. The St Ann, Hanover, Westmoreland and Manchester parish councils, which were won by the PNP on December 5, 2007, will once again be retained by the said party.
So where do we put St Thomas and Clarendon? They could both end in a tie. However, the St Thomas Parish Council seems likely to go to the PNP, but only just.
In closing, the final results for the 15th local government elections will be no different from the December 29, 2011 general election - a landslide for the governing PNP.
Statistician, political analyst