Wednesday 2 December, 2020

PNM wins popular vote at 2020 polls

Pictured: PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley declares a 22-19 victory over the UNC in the 2020 general election on August 10, 2020. Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

Pictured: PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley declares a 22-19 victory over the UNC in the 2020 general election on August 10, 2020. Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

With 322,250 votes, the People’s National Movement (PNM) has won the popular vote of the 2020 General Election.

Initial figures on Monday night suggested that the United National Congress (UNC) was ahead in terms of popularity.

However, according to preliminary figures released by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) late on Wednesday, the PNM attracted the most votes cast in the recently contested election.

Closest contenders, the UNC, attracted 309,188 votes – 13,062 votes behind the PNM.

PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley retained the Diego Martin West seat with 10,791 votes, while UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar also held on to the Siparia seat with 13,487 votes.

In 2015, Dr Rowley amassed 12,855 votes to retain his seat. Persad-Bissessar was the successful candidate with 14,896 votes.

The highest number of votes recorded for any candidate was 15,502, amassed by the UNC’s Chaguanas West candidate Dinesh Rambally. The PNM’s candidate for Arouca/Maloney Camille Robinson had the highest vote count for a candidate of that party with 12,697 votes.

The highest number of votes cast in any constituency was in Moruga/Tableland, which saw 20,125 valid votes cast. The lowest number of votes cast for any party was recorded in the marginal seat – 12 votes for both the Trinidad Humanity Campaign’s (THC) Larry Sanchar and independent candidate Thomas Sotillo.

The UNC’s Michelle Benjamin, who previously served as a councillor wrested the seat from the PNM.

Monday’s election saw a fair voter turnout of 58.04 percent amidst fears of COVID-19, with 658,297 votes polled in an electorate of 1,134,135.

At the 2015 polls, of the 1,092,279 registered voters 734,792 votes were cast, which represented a voter turnout of 67.27 percent.

There were fewer rejected ballots recorded this year when compared with figures from the last general election - 1,775 ballots this year, versus 2,452 ballots in 2015.

The EBC is still engaged in a recount of votes in five constituencies: La Horquetta/Talparo, San Fernando West, St Joseph, Toco/Sangre Grande and Tunapuna.

The UNC leader said she would not be conceding defeat until the close of all recounts.

Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) political leader and Tobago East candidate Watson Duke requested a recount in the seat he contested, but then conceded. He attracted 5,866 votes to the PNM’s successful candidate, Ayanna Webster-Roy’s 7,127 votes.

A total of 150 candidates representing 19 political parties, along with four independent candidates contested the 2020 general election.

While the new Government cannot be sworn in until the results are settled and declared official by the EBC, the Dr Rowley-led PNM administration remains the duly-elected government.

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