Candidates are planning a hectic 48 hours of last ditch campaigning as the election race enters the homestretch.
A series of rallies, motorcades, meetings and media appearances are planned Monday and Tuesday as the contenders make their last pleas to voters before all campaigning is suspended at midnight Tuesday.
All four political groups – the United Democratic Party, the Coalition for Cayman, the People’s National Alliance and the People’s Progressive Movement – will hold rallies on Tuesday night.
Many of the independent candidates will be pushing their message on the doorstep and on the radio.
McKeeva Bush, the UDP leader and former premier, said the party’s campaign would culminate with a series of rallies in each district on Tuesday before a final meeting the same night at Kirk’s Home Centre in George Town.
He said he would use the final days of the campaign to attempt to reinforce the message that his leadership had helped keep the “good ship Cayman” afloat in troubled times and to urge voters to get to the polls on Wednesday.
The UDP has a fleet of 30 drivers on standby to ferry voters to and from polling stations on Wednesday. Part of Tuesday’s meeting will be dedicated to ensuring its supporters know where their polling station is and when to vote, according to office administrator Cindy Adam.
Candidates will remain in their districts as the vote count comes in, following progress through media and their election agents at the polling stations.
The Progressives are planning a motorcade Monday and will make their final statements to supporters during a meeting on the court house steps in downtown George Town on Tuesday night. The party will also coordinate transport requests from its George Town office.
Their candidates will go out early to vote on Wednesday and will gather later at the election headquarters at the Family Life Centre to hear the results first hand.
Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly will follow the election from her constituency in Cayman Brac, remaining in close contact with her PNA colleagues in Grand Cayman.
She said she would hold meetings in her constituency on Monday and Tuesday and would remain in Cayman Brac on election day and “God willing” fly back to Grand Cayman on Thursday to attempt to form a coalition government.
She said each of the elected representatives had an obligation to the electorate to work with whomever the voters chose and did not rule out an alliance with anyone.
Health Minister Mark Scotland said he and his Bodden Town running mate Dwayne Seymour will be pounding the pavement in the district over the next two days ahead of a final public meeting at Northward Park from 8.30pm Tuesday. The pair will be joined later in the evening by their PNA colleagues Rolston Anglin and Cline Glidden, who will be hosting their own meeting in West Bay.
For the independents running under the Coalition for Cayman banner, there have been neighbourhood meetings every night in the final days of the race. They will host a rally at Grand Harbour on the eve of the election. Roy McTaggart, a C4C candidate in George Town, said the policy talk would largely have stopped by Tuesday, with the emphasis on thanking supporters.
“It is a feel good event to encourage people to get out and vote.” He plans to be at the main counting station in George Town until the vote is over on Wednesday or early Thursday.
Stefan Baruad, an independent candidate for George Town, had to cancel a planned motorcade because he has reached his campaign spending limit. He said the parties had an inherent advantage when it came to campaign funding.
But he insisted there would be “no crying over spilt milk” and said the spending-cap had inspired him to run a more creative campaign, using social media and other marketing strategies to get his message across.
He will be going door to door during the next 48 hours and leafleting motorists in the morning rush hour. Mr. Baruad said he will follow the count from his campaign headquarters in George Town.
Bo Miller will close his campaign with appearances on Radio Cayman and Rooster on Tuesday, outlining his policy ideas and taking calls from voters. He said he was feeling confident ahead of the vote.