Jamahl Simmons, the PLP candidate in the constituency 33 by-election, has emerged the winner in today’s by-election.
Mr Simmons won with 462 votes, versus 326 votes for Ms Marshall of the OBA (or 58.18% to 41.05%).
There were also six spoiled ballots, however it’s impossible to tell whether these ballots were intentionally spoiled or not.
The turn-out was relatively low, as is usually the norm in by-elections, with 794 of the 1,327 eligible voters turning out – that is, there was a 59% turn-out.
This equates to a slight swing of 1.56% in favour of the PLP – in 2012 the PLP won with 56.62% to the OBA’s 43.48%. This is contrary to my expectation that he would win but with a reduced margin of victory.
Now, it’s been an eventful day for me personally, so I’m not going to write too much right now about this…
At most, I’d simply like to congratulate Mr Simmons for his win and for running a pretty energetic and positive campaign (although I’m aware there’s some criticism surrounding the constituency ‘Feed the Family’ event).
I am hopeful that Mr Simmons is also aware of the question marks that remain over him as a result of his political past and the way he became the PLP candidate in this by-election, as well as his Twitter controversy earlier this year.
I say hopeful because I believe these should drive him to prove himself, both as a constituency MP and on the national stage. I am hopeful this background will lead to him being a diligent and considerate MP.
As for Ms Marshall, I was disappointed by her refusal to engage in the media.
For someone of her intellectual caliber and professional prowess I was surprised at her reluctance in this regards. She gave the impression she was afraid of being challenged by investigative journalists, and instead retreated to the illusory safety of a stage-managed campaign by the OBA Party itself.
We never really got to hear what she was about beyond campaign managed PR pieces.
Nonetheless, I believe she remains a potentially quality candidate, and I hope she takes the time to reflect on this experience, and I hope she doesn’t bow out of politics going forward. She has the potential to be an excellent representative going forward – whether one likes her or not on a political level, I think it would be churlish to deny her potential contributions to our parliament in the future.