The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has won a resounding mandate from the electorate of Barabdos winning all 30 of the seats in the Barbados House of Assembly following the 24 May 2018 General Election. The BLP, led by 52-year-old attorney and former Leader of the Opposition, Mia Mottley, will form the next government in Barbados with Ms. Mottley becoming Barbados’ eight Prime Minister and the first woman the hold the post.
As counting continued into the early hours of Friday morning, due to delays in the start of the official count, Prime Minister and Political Leader of the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) conceded defeat. Prime Minister-designate Mottley delivered her victory speech just before 4 a.m. Mottley indicated that an immediate priority would be the appointment of a Cabinet by Monday. At the final campaign rally on Wednesday night, Ms. Mottley identified St. Joseph Member of Parliament Dale Marshal as he new Attorney General, if the party was successful in the election. She also indicated that St. Michael South East MP Santia Bradshaw would become the Leader of Government Business in the new House of Assembly.
The 2018 election now goes into history as the first election in the post-independence era of Barbados with a clean sweep of seats by a single political party. Prior to this the largest majorities were the 26:2 victory for the BLP in the 1999 election, and the 24:3 win in favour of the DLP in 1986.
The new House of Assembly will also boast the largest number of women Members of Parliament. There will be six women – up from one in the previous House. Newcomers Marsha Caddle, Sandra Husbands, and Dr. Sonia Browne will join Mia Mottley, Cynthia Forde, and Santia Bradshaw.
Other first-time representatives entering the House will be Kirk Humphrey, who defeated Prime Minister Stuart; Neil Holder who defeated Finance Minister Christopher Sincker; Ian Gooding-Edhill, Adrian Forde, Ralph Thorne, Ryan Straughn, Wilfred Abrahams, Indar Weir, John King, Charles Griffith, Colin Jordan, and Peter Phillips. They will be joined by Dr. William Duguid and Joseph Atherley who served in previous Parliaments.
The 2018 election featured a record 135 candidates from nine political parties, and a record 37 women candidates. The Barbados Electoral and Boundaries Commission reported that 255,833 persons were registered to vote in an election where Commonwealth citizens were allowed to vote for the first time.