#JaVotes2016 – Know Your Constituencies: St Elizabeth

St Elizabeth South Eastern

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A section of the Malvern Wind Farm in the constituency

St Elizabeth South Eastern was created in 1959 when, with the advancement in the Constitution, Jamaica was provided with 45 constituencies.

Of the 12 contested Parliamentary General Elections from 1959 to 2011, the People’s National Party (PNP) has won 10 times to two by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Like St Elizabeth North Eastern, this constituency has given strong and consistent support to the PNP going back to the period 1959, 1962 and 1967, when the name Burnett B Coke reigned supreme. Derrick Rochester, his successor, had convincing margins of victory in 1972, 1976, 1989, 1993 and 1997.

In his 30 years in the political arena, “Doc,” as Rochester was called, tasted defeat only once – to the JLP’s Cecil Roy July in 1980. In 2002, Rochester’s successor, Lenworth Blake, continued the PNP tradition by beating the JLP’s Franklin Witter and the National Democratic Movement/New Jamaica Alliance (NDM/NJA) Earle L Powell 7,507 votes to 7,425 and 30, respectively. Witter turned the tables in 2007, polling 9,064 to beat the PNP’s Norman Horne (8,520), the NDM’s Conrad Powell (31) and Independent candidate Sharon Witter (28).

Incumbent MP Richard Parchment (PNP) defeated Witter 9,902 to 8,932 in the 2011 polls.