A tremor was felt in Portland at 9pm on the night when Ann-Marie Vaz won the By-Election in East Portland. She became the first female to win that seat and the first Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate to take the seat away from the People’s National Party (PNP) after 30 years.
Even though she won by only approximately 300 votes, her supporters celebrated in the streets of Port Antonio, as it took a lot of work to erode the PNP’s dominance in the constituency and there was a low voter turnout in the early hours of the day, due to heavy rainfall in the parish.
After the rainfall ended the voters were able to vote and Crawford was able to bring out the PNP base, more persons voted for him than the amount that had voted for Dr. Bloomfield in the general election in 2016. Crawford and his team did a great job, but it is clear that the Labourites and their message of hope was the winning message that the people wanted to hear.
After the 6 week long campaign that started after the death of the MP Mr. Lynvale Bloomfield no one was sure who would be the winner of the seat because it was clear that the Labourites had done a lot of work in the constituency as they knew that it would be hard for them to win the by-election because the PNP kept on winning there for 30 years and they had won by 2000 votes approximately 3 years ago when the general election was held. However, Ann-Marie Vaz worked very hard in the constituency for many months before Dr. Bloomfield died and she had fixed a well needed bridge, added to the other things she was doing.
Her opponent Damion Crawford was not in the constituency for long and he said, he was not able to spend as much as Mrs. Vaz did, when he was asked why he think he lost.
Vaz spoke about her dream coming true and encouraged the people, both young and old to keep on working towards their dreams. She also said she would be helping the persons in her constituency to realize their dreams, as they would be holding each other’s hands and hearts as they pursue greatness together. The 53-year-old first time MP was also able to bring out persons who did not vote in the last election, with her poverty to prosperity message.
Portland is now fully represented by the JLP and the Vaz family, as her husband Daryl Vaz is the Member of Parliament, for West Portland.