BARBADIANS go to the polls today after a period of uncertainty over whether the elections would take place. The Barbados parliament was automatically dissolved on March 5, without Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announcing an election date. Today’s election date was subsequently announced. Nomination Day was May 7. A total of 135 candidates will contest the election.
The main parties contesting the polls are the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP), and the opposition Mia Mottley led Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Both parties have announced their full slates of 30 candidates each.The new Solutions Barbados (SB), led by Grenville Phillips II, has announced a slate of 26 candidates. The United Progressive Party (UPP), led by former BLP Cabinet Minister Lynette Eastmond is fielding a slate of 23 candidates.
The People’s Democratic Congress (PDC), led by Mark Adamson has three candidates. The PDC’s partner in the Coalition of United Parties (CUP), the Bajan Free Party (BFP), led by Alex Mitchell also has three candidates. The Kingdom Government of Barbados (KGB), led by Steve Hunte, has one candidate. Today’s elections sees the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) facing the polls for the first time. The BIM is led by Neil Holder and has eight candidates. BIM is a member of CUP. Ten independent candidates also face the polls today.
Up for grabs are 30 seats in the Barbados House of Assembly. In terms of gender, there are 37 women and 98 men contesting the election. For the first time, two political parties, the BLP and UPP, are being led in an election by women (Mottley and Eastmond).
In the last general election in 2013, the DLP won 16 seats in the House of Assembly. The BLP won the remaining 14. Voter turnout then was 62.02 percent.