Long, tense night ahead for GT candidates

Across George Town candidates were settling in for a long, tense night of waiting and watching as the vote count got under way this evening.

The final results were not expected until well into the early hours of Thursday with 21 candidates vying for six spots in the legislature in what is likely to be an extremely tight race in the capital.

At the Progressives headquarters on Crewe Road, party leader Alden McLaughlin and fellow candidate Marco Archer were among a small crowd of party faithful that had gathered by 7pm to listen as results started to trickle through on the radio and television.

Mr. McLaughlin said he was feeling optimistic. He felt the campaign had gone well and everything had ran smoothly on the day.

“I am cautiously optimistic. I can’t say much more than that right now,” said Mr. McLaughlin who cast his vote at the Prospect Primary School polling station at around 11am.

He said he would be at the HQ all night, talking to counting agents on the phone and waiting for the result to be called. He said he expected a tight race, particularly for the last few spots in George Town.

At the UDP headquarters on Eastern Avenue, staff had erected a giant television screen for supporters to watch the results come in.

Paula Roye, who had been staffing the office all day and was planning to remain until the votes were counted, said everything had ran smoothly. She said there had been steady demand for drivers to ferry supporters to the polls.

No major incidents were reported during the day. The UDP candidates were expected to show up at the headquarters as the evening progressed with the candidates in the districts likely to converge on George Town as the results come in.

“We have the big screen set up and the candidates and our supporters will be out there following the results as they happen,” said Ms Roye.

Stefan Baraud, an independent candidate, was in situ at his campaign office with a group of supporters. He said he was keeping in close contact with his election agents and was prepared for a very long night.

He said he had been going from polling station to polling station throughout the day after casting his vote at the Prospect Primary polling station at around 9.30am.

“I’m happy because I know I ran a good, well organized campaign. I’m grateful to my committee and all my supporters. We did the best we could and now it is just a case of waiting for the results to come in.”

If he is part of the race, he plans to stick it out till the last vote is counted, he said.

Other candidates were expected to gather at the Family Life Centre, where the count is taking place, later in the evening.

But the area around the centre was empty just after 8pm, with many candidates opting to head home and get some rest for a long night ahead.

Earlier in the day voters had flocked to polling stations across the city with many out before 9am to mark their ballots.

At Red Bay Primary School turnout was high from the opening of the polls at 7am.

There was still a steady flow of voters coming through the gates after 9am, with lines forming outside the polling station doors.

Richard Campbell said he had come to vote for change.

“I want to see things done fairly with less corruption and more transparency.”

He said Winston Connolly was his ‘number one guy’ for George Town.

Claudette Myles said she was out early to vote every year and always voted straight for the PPM.

“I don’t mind some of the independents but I’m a PPM girl.”

Blake Hurlstone said he didn’t pick favourites or vote on party lines.

“I just look for people who I think are responsible,” he said.

Across town at the Victory Tabernacle church on Eastern Avenue a steady stream of voters had slowed to a trickle by 10am.

Among them was Stephanie Harry, who showed up to vote with her twin sons.

She said she looked to good, Christian leaders when deciding who to vote for.

“I look for them that’s God fearing and that’s who I give my vote to.”

Earlier Independent candidate Roy McTaggart had stopped by to cast his vote.

He said he had been touring the various George Town polling stations and had been pleased to see such high turn-out.

stefanb

Mr Baraud
James Whittaker

alden

Mr McLaughlin
James Whittaker
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