Encompassing the majority of polling divisions from the old St. Cecilia constituency that was represented by the first female Deputy Prime Minister, Cynthia “Mother” Pratt, St. Barnabas constituency is one to watch.
The race for this seat is between the FNM incumbent Shanendon Cartwright and the PLP’s Michael Halkitis.
Halkitis is a known political figure having formerly served as the MP for the Golden Isles constituency and the state minister for finance.
Both candidates are viewed as future leaders in their parties and for the most part are genuinely likable men.
The incumbent, Cartwright, has done some good work in the constituency, however his support for the increase in value-added tax could come back to hurt him. In a survey conducted by Open Current – a credible local polling firm – a whopping 70 percent of residents surveyed believed that the country is headed in the wrong direction; 63 percent of respondents also indicated that their top priorities were employment and job opportunities. Is this good news for the incumbent?
Halkitis has switched from Golden Isles to St. Barnabas.
A critical part of his campaign has been the holding of free weekly breakfast throughout the constituency. Some voters do not see him as being “PLP enough”, but can he win those voters over? His campaign has enlisted the support of some heavy hitters, among them Mother Pratt. Will this help?
Important to note that over 900 registered voters did not vote in 2017. What will happen this time around?
In the final analysis, one thing is clear, the majority voters of St. Barnabas don’t care what folks living outside of the constituency have to say; this one is all about the party they love.
– Vaughn New