Ann-Marie Vaz beats Damion Crawford in by-election in Jamaica

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has ended its 30-year political drought in the flourishing Portland Eastern constituency after Ann-Marie Vaz today defeated the People’s National Party (PNP’s) Damion Crawford in a hotly contested by-election.

Vaz will be the first female member of parliament for the constituency.

 9,917 votes
Crawford: 9,611 votes

Vaz’s margin is 3,000 more than the JLP’s 2016 candidate, Derron Wood’s 6,330.

There were 36,315 eligible voters in five electoral divisions of Portland Eastern and the polls ended with a 53.5 per cent voter turnout.

Multiple opinion polls, including the RJRGLEANER-Don Anderson survey had projected a win for the JLP .

In Port Antonio, Portland, JLP supporters are in a jubilant mood at this hour celebrating the victory.

Vaz is expected to join her husband Daryl, the Portland Western MP in the House of Representatives.

Portland Eastern was left vacant following the killing of MP Dr Lynvale Bloomfield on February 2.

What The JLP Win Means

The victory for the JLP means it will increase its parliamentary seat count on the Government benches to 34 while the PNP will now have 29.

In 2017, the PNP also lost South East St Mary to the JLP following the sudden death of MP Dr Winston Green.

“This is a major victory for the Jamaica Labour Party,” JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang said on Television Jamaica of Vaz’s win.

According to Chang, the win meant that the JLP was able to attract more of the undecided voters heading into today’s polls.

Earlier, PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson said it was “obviously disappointing,” for his party.

However, he said it was too early to assess the potential political implications.