#ElectionJa – Know Your Constituency: Hanover Eastern

Thirty-two constituencies were fixed in the new constitution granted to Jamaica in 1944. Hanover Eastern was among the 32 as the parish was divided into Eastern and Western.

The constituency of Hanover Eastern is bounded by the following: From a point where the Lucea East River (Kew River) enters the sea, easterly along the seacoast to the western boundary of Blue Hole, continuing easterly along the seacoast to the Hanover-St James parish boundary (Great River). It then goes south-easterly along the Great River to the junction of St James-Hanover and Westmoreland parish boundary, then westerly along the Hanover-Westmoreland parish boundary to a point where the parish boundary crosses the main road from Shettlewood to McField. From there it goes north westerly and westerly along the parish boundary through Mahogany Hill to where it meets the main road leading to Askenish, then along the Askenish main road to where it meets the main road from Maryland to Cash Hill, then northerly along the eastern side of this main road to the Dundee Bridge over the Lucea East River, along this river to the starting point.

Hanover Eastern has featured in all of the 15 contested Parliamentary General Elections from 1944-2011. The 1944 election was won by the independent candidate Joseph Zechariah Malcolm, who defeated the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate Greville Ribton Levy by 395 votes. There were three other independents: Isaac Nathaniel Atherton who polled 1,478 votes, Astley St Clair Hendricks who polled 148, and Harold J Charley who polled 671. In 1949, Malcolm contested the election on the JLP ticket and defeated the People’s National Party’s (PNP) candidate Winsbert M Grubb by a 2,142 majority.

Hanover Eastern is considered a ‘weather-vane’ constituency. In winning the 1955 general election, the PNP also won the Hanover Eastern seat in an extremely close contest in which all four candidates: Eric Campbell (PNP), Grubb (National Labour Party), WD Hastings (Farmers’ Party) and Arnold S Jackson (JLP), received 2,314, 1,958, 1901 and 1,462 votes respectively.

Since 1962, election results for Hanover Eastern have generally followed a two-term pattern; the JLP won the 1962 general election and retained the seat. In 1967 Jackson completed three consecutive terms in winning the seat by a majority of 1,200, votes. It was the PNP’s turn in 1972 as Dr Aston King defeated the veteran Jackson by 911 votes. The PNP returned to office with a 19-seat majority over the JLP in 1976. After two terms in opposition, the JLP was returned to power in 1980 with an unprecedented 85 per cent of the seats and 58.9 per cent of accepted ballots, and retained the seat in the uncontested 1983 election. King roared back in the 1989 election, and was succeeded by comrade Francis Tulloch in 1993. He was succeeded by Canute Brown in 1997. The JLP returned to power in the constituency in 2002 through Barrington Gray.

The current MP, Dr DK Duncan, came to power in 2007, defeating Gray by only 10 votes. He retained the seat in the 2011 polls, defeating the JLP’s Paula Kerr-Jarrett by 251 votes.


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