#ElectionJa – Know Your Constituency: Manchester North Eastern

The number of constituencies was increased from 45 to 53 by the Constituencies (Boundaries Order) 1966, made by the Governor-General under Section 67 of the Constitution of Jamaica and which came into operation on January 3, 1967.

The parish of Manchester was provided with an additional constituency bringing the total number to four. The boundaries were redrawn and new constituencies were created, namely – Manchester Southern, North Western, Central and North Eastern.

Of the 10 contested Parliamentary General Elections in the constituency between 1967 and 2011, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has won nine to one for the People’s National Party (PNP). The PNP’s only victory was in 1989.

The constituency’s first Member of Parliament was William McLaren, who defeated the PNP’s RL Alberga 5,074 votes to 3,345. McLaren retained the seat in the 1972 election. He was succeeded by Leonard Kirby in 1976, who beat Maurice Channer 6,894 votes to 5,401.

Incumbent MP Audley Shaw was first elected in 1993, when the PNP won 52 of the 60 constituencies island-wide including three in Manchester. Shaw had lost his first bid for the Manchester North Eastern seat in the 1989 election to Calvin Lyn, who won by 210 votes. The JLP regained control of the constituency in ’93 as Shaw defeated Kenneth C Neita by 795 votes. By polling 6,965 votes in the 1997 polls, compared to his two opponents – Errol Gentles (PNP) 5,568 and Wayne Chen (National Democratic Movement) 1,851 – Shaw once again demonstrated his capacity to defy great odds in turning back the challenge of two formidable candidates.

The polling divisions in Manchester North Eastern are Christiana, Craighead and Walderston.

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