The bye election to take place in constituency of Southampton West-Central could really serve to deliver a message to both political parties on the impressions they’ve made with the voting public.
On one hand, the UBP, in the position of defending their seat, have to counter the image that they’re becoming an irrelevant force in politics and ensure that voters still believe that they’re viable, overall. By running a current Senator and person who ran for a House seat last year it would appear that they are going with the experience and stability angle.
On the other hand, the PLP has a lot to gain from taking this seat over. Despite the shellacking they’ve taken from various persons on particular policy decisions, the party has maintained their Cabinet structure and come out of their delegates’ conference without any shakeup. Their candidate is also a Senator, and he’s becoming more well-known on the island. What the PLP are banking on is that their candidate brings youth and drive, as opposed to the more-of-the-same plot of their opponent.
And somewhere in the middle of it all, we have an independent candidate. However, this guy is no stranger to dipping a toe into the political fray. He believes that there’s a genuine opportunity for real change to happen in the House if voters reject the policies of either party and select him as their representative.
Predictably, there are some who think it’s a waste of time and potentially screw up the election results, and it’s a pity that people can be so narrow-sighted as to not realize that the more options available, the better overall. Where I think things will fall is that people probably won’t buy the “shakeup” line from someone who’s been already well-affiliated with one of the established parties in the past and threw the ABC feeler only to bail out. That said, he’s not running in my constituency and I am unlikely to hear about the things that he could propose and implement as an MP.
Most likely, his desire for 300-400 votes will likely fall short by a significant amount as Bermudians gravitate to one of the establishments out of fear of the other party winning, which is a pity. But I would definitely cheer for a surprise result.