The 2021 election was the FNM’s second worst performance in its history
The 2021 general election results for the Free National Movement (FNM) were one of the worst performances in its entire existence.
In fact, that abysmal performance ranks second only behind its 1977 performance. I’ve come to this conclusion after briefly perusing through every single election result of the FNM dating back to 1972 — its very first election contest.
At the risk of being repetitious, the FNM polled just 46,030 or 36.45 percent of the votes in 2021.
The party held on to just seven seats — 28 fewer than it had won in 2017.
In order to appreciate how demoralizing this performance was, the Dissident Eight iteration of the FNM won just nine seats in 1972.
Each Dissident Eight member lost his contest. Still, the FNM gained 19,732 or 39.30 percent of the votes.
The 19,732 figure isn’t all that abysmal, considering that there were only 57,071 registered voters in 1972.
The FNM fared better in 1982, 1987, 2002 and 2012 than it did in 2021.
In 1977, by far the FNM’s worst showing, the party polled just 9,995 or 15.74 percent of the votes.
The Bahamas Democratic Party (BDP), an FNM offshoot, gained 17,252 or 26.91 percent of the votes.
While the BDP sent six MPs to Parliament — Sir Roland Symonette, John Henry Bostwick, James Knowles, Norman Solomon, Mike Lightbourne and Keith Duncombe — only Maurice Moore and Warren Levarity of the FNM were elected.
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) gained 35,090 or 54.74 percent of the votes in 1977. There were 71,295 registered voters that year.
Only two other humiliating performances that I can think of would be in 2002, when the FNM won just seven seats and in 2012, when it won nine.
Yet, in 2002, the FNM polled 52,803 votes while in 2012, 65,633 voters supported the party.
In both election losses, the party fared better than it did in 2021.
Even in 1982, when the FNM won just 11 seats, the party polled 31,097 votes out of 84,235 registered voters.
In 1987, 39,009 Bahamians voted for the FNM, giving the party 16 seats — its most successful election since its formation 17 years earlier.
There were 102,713 registered voters in 1987.
Context is important when comparing the number of votes the FNM gained in 1972, 1982 and 1987.
The Bahamian population was much smaller than it was in 2021.
Looking at the 1977 election disaster for Sir Cecil Wallace-Whitfield and the FNM, had the BDP splinter group stayed with the FNM, the party would’ve gained 27,247 or 42.49 percent of the votes.
The party would’ve also won eight seats instead of just two.
I deliberately combined the election results of both the BDP and FNM in order to underscore how abysmal the 2021 performance was.
Had there been no BDP to woo voters away from Sir Cecil and the FNM in 1977, the 2021 election performance would’ve easily been the party’s worst since its formation in 1970.
Look at the 1997 general election, which would be Sir Lynden Pindling’s last as leader of the PLP.
The PLP won just six seats, with 49,932 or 41.90 percent of Bahamian voters supporting the party at the polls.
There were 129,946 registered voters in 1997.
As unpopular as Sir Lynden was in 1997, he still managed to outgain the 2021 iteration of the FNM by 3,902 votes.
Whatever popularity the FNM had in 2017, which I knew was unsustainable, it had plummeted in the lead-up to September 16, 2021.
Those FNMs who are actively working to derail FNM Leader Michael Pintard need to take a step back and reconsider the historical significance of what transpired in 2021.
It was a resounding rejection of the FNM.
It was a resounding rejection of the FNM leadership.
FNMs who are undermining Pintard need to get their heads out of the sand and accept the verdict of the Bahamian people.
— Kevin Evans