#ElectionJa – Know Your Constituency: St Andrew West Central

St Andrew West Central was also among the 13 newly-created constituencies for the July 28, 1959 general election. The new seat, which evolved from the former Western St Andrew constituency, has predominantly been a domain of the People’s National Party (PNP). However, it is currently being represented by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

Of the 12 contested parliamentary general elections during the period 1959-1997, the PNP won eight times to the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) four. The PNP dominated the early elections, winning the seat five times (1959 to 1976) before the JLP got a foothold. The first Member of Parliament was the PNP’s William Seivright, who defeated the JLP’s Ian Ramsay by 4,605 votes (11,397 to 6,792). Seivright also won the seat in the following election. He was succeeded by David Coore, who won the 1967 and 1972 elections (over Una Hill and Frank Phipps, respectively), followed by Carl Thompson who defeated Ira Ashman in 1976.

The JLP’s first hold on the seat came in 1980 through Ferdinand Yap, who defeated Thompson by 2,864 votes (10,590 to 7,726). The party retained the seat in the 1983 election that was boycotted by the PNP, but lost it in the 1989 polls as AJ Nicholson beat Yap 13,102 to 10,458. Nicholson retained the seat in the 1993 election, defeating GM Bromfield.

Holness first won the seat in 1997 by a mere 65 votes (5,328 to 5,263) over Warren Blake. The National Democratic Movement’s (NDM) Steve Daley, received 27 votes. Holness also won the 2002 election, before losing to the PNP’s Patrick Robinson in 2007. He reclaimed the seat in 2011.

Polling divisions in the constituency are Molynes Gardens, Olympic Gardens and Seivright Gardens.


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