On Tuesday, a little-known election took place on a well-known island: the 2017 Bermuda general election.
A vacationer’s paradise, perhaps, but yesterday, politics took the main stage.
2017 Bermuda General Election: Pregame
The government of the island, the OBA (One Bermuda Alliance), held a narrow two-seat majority in the Assembly after the last election. Their premier, Michael Dunkley, hoped to win another term against the opposition PLP (People’s Labour Party). OBA is the island’s right-leaning party, while the PLP leans left.
This election was coming due, as the last took place five years ago in 2012. However, the OBA lost its overall Assembly majority when two of its MPs defected and became independents. Entering the dissolution of the House, both the OBA and PLP held 17 seats, with two independents holding the balance of power.
2017 was only the second general election fought by the OBA. Prior to 2011, there were two major parties in opposition to the PLP: the United Bermuda Party and the Bermuda Democratic Alliance. With the merger of the center and center-right, the OBA won its first election in 2012.
2017 Bermuda General Election Results
Ultimately, the PLP won in a landslide, taking 24 of 36 seats. This was a gain of seven from the last election. The mystery and wonder of a campaign with no polls means that every result is a surprise. Nevertheless, few probably expected a one-time OBA government to get thrown out in this way.
One particular person who didn’t expect to lose his seat was Bob Richards, the finance minister who fell by 94 votes.
Overall, the PLP claimed about 58.9 percent of the vote, an increase of 12.8 percent from the 2012 election.