#JaVotes2016 – Know Your Constituencies: St Ann

St Ann North Western

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Members of the batch of correctional officers who graduated from the Carl Rattray Staff College in Runaway Bay

The constituency of St Ann North Western was created in 1959, and was realigned prior to the 2007 general election. It lost two polling divisions from the Brown’s Town electoral divisions – Friendship and Farm.

The first five elections after the seat went to the People’s National Party (PNP). The first Member of Parliament (MP) was Livingston A Wedderburn, who defeated the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Alexander R Smith 7,490 votes to 2,553. In 1962, Wedderburn ran as an independent candidate and was soundly beaten by the PNP’s Elon B Wilson (5,665) and the JLP’s William R Case (2,657), polling only 667 votes. Wilson retained the seat until 1976, when Arnold Bertram became the PNP’s new candidate. He polled 7,138 votes to defeat the JLP’s Princess Lawes, who received 4,799 votes. Lawes turned the tables on Bertam in 1980, beating him 8,443 votes to 5,121. The JLP retained the seat in 1983’s snap election, which the PNP boycotted.

Former Education Minister and ambassador Burchell Whiteman also had a two-term stint as custodian of the seat from 1989 to 1997, before Bertram returned as PNP candidate and MP.

The JLP returned to power in the constituency in 2002, as Verna Parchment handed Bertram his second defeat 7,564 votes to 7,362. It was a similar outcome in the 2007 election, as Othneil Lawrence defeated the PNP’s Michael Whittingham 8,210 votes to 7,346.

For the 2011 election, the PNP selected Dr Dayton Campbell as its standard-bearer in the constituency, and he beat Lawrence 8,674 votes to 7,831.

The economy of St Ann North Western is based mostly on mining, agriculture and tourism, with the constituency boasting a bauxite plant and five major hotels. (Read more)