Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Residents are in favour of Hon. Andrew Fahie becoming the next Premier of the Virgin Islands, and they trust his Virgin Islands Party (VIP) to govern for the next four years. This is according to an online poll conducted by BVI Platinum News, which ended over the weekend.
We asked--who is your choice for the next Premier of the BVI? Readers were given the choices of Hon. Myron Walwyn, Chairman of the incumbent National Democratic Party (NDP); Hon. Andrew Fahie, VIP; Hon. Ronnie Skelton of the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM); and Hon. Julian Fraser, Progressives United (PU).
The results show that Fahie received 1485 votes; Walwyn 896; Skelton 557; and Fraser 169. The total votes cast for this question were 3,107.
We also asked--what political party do you trust to lead the BVI in the next term? The options given were NDP, VIP, PVIM or PU.
When it comes to which party participants trust, 1518 persons said VIP; NDP 831; PVIM 485; and PU 101. The total votes received for this question were 2935.
While the poll is not scientific, it provides some indication of the voting trends.
In 2015, similar online polls conducted by BVI Platinum News gave Premier Dr. Orlando Smith and the NDP the advantage. The NDP won by a landslide, 11-2.
This election is said to be one of the most critical in the history of the Virgin Islands, with the territory on the verge of rebuilding after the catastrophic storms in 2017 and impending issues with the United Kingdom (UK), including public register and issues surrounding the financial services sector, including the European Union’s threat to blacklist the VI; and then there is Brexit.
Both of the two major political parties, VIP and NDP have encountered members breaking away, with the NDP being affected the most, where some senior members departed a few months ago to form PVIM, headed by Hon. Skelton. Hon. Fraser also left the VIP and formed his PU.
Political observers believe this can result in a high number of vote splitting, which could result in a coalition government being formed. But both Hon. Fahie and Hon. Walwyn have spoken against the possibility of a coalition government. Hon. Walwyn went as far as to state that the election race is between VIP and NDP.
Only the VIP has a full 13-member slate of candidates, while NDP has 11; PVIM 9 and PU 5.
Hon. Fahie has called on the electorate to punish those without a full state and noted that it must be taken seriously that an incumbent party does not have a full slate. But Hon. Walwyn has fired back, stating that it’s about quality and not quantity, and called on voters not to elect a green team.
The election campaign which comes to an end on the eve of elections, February 24, has seen a number of personal attacks, with the use of WhatsApp and other social media forums.
Voters have also been complaining that many candidates have not presented a proper economic plan for a better Virgin Islands.
Hon. Fahie said that he will be revealing his party’s economic plan in the coming weeks, while Hon. Walwyn said the NDP manifesto will be released soon via the party’s mobile App; and Hon. Skelton has presented his party’s business plan.
Nomination Day is February 14 and polling day is February 25.
Editor's Note: We have received comments regarding how the poll was conducted, however, while it appeared that you could have voted more than once, our system only recorded your first vote. This was deliberately done to help keep the counts as accurate as possible.