The Preliminary results are in and Ann Marie Vaz has defeated Damion Crawford in East Portland.
So far she has gained over 51% of the votes with 9, 917 votes for her and 9,611 for Damion Crawford.
This means that for the first time in 30 years, the JLP will be in control of East Portland.
It also means that Mrs. Vaz will be the first female to become the MP for that constituency.
The results are close so there will probably be a recount, but as it stands Ann Marie Vaz is the winner.
This defeat is very damning for Crawford and the PNP as this seat was a comfortable seat for the PNP previously.
It was one of their safe seats as no “Labourite” has won it in over three decades.
Now we have the incredible result of both MPs for East and West Portland being in the same house.
This result will not be taken lightly so expect to hear accusations and rumblings over the next couple days and weeks.
For now the day belongs to Ann Marie Vaz and her team.
Damion Crawford started off on the wrong foot, his approach was to attack Vaz instead of her policies.
He was either ill-advised by his team or messed up on his own, either way it was the wrong approach.
The fact that this result was so close does not mean it was a good fight, it shows how badly the PNP has fallen in East Portland.
Imagine a shark winning a fight on dry land, that is how it is for a JLP politician to win in East Portland.
Where did Crawford go wrong?
The simple answer is policies and strategy.
He wasted a lot of time stating the obvious about Vaz. Nobody was unaware of the fact that she was a rookie in politics, or that her husband’s influence helped get her a spot as the main contender.
These facts do not equal incompetence though.
What they should have done is attack her policies and expose the weaknesses in them.
They didn’t do this and then had to spend valuable time backtracking and clearing up statements.
Damion Crawford also didn’t seem to have his heart in this by-election. It was as if he was forced to take the job.
His romantic policy about handing out goats shows this.
This in itself is not a bad thing, but clearly could never be the headline policy for developing Eastern Portland.
Still, the underline tone of his campaign was one of we will give you this for free and that for free.
That would have been a hit 20 years ago but the Jamaican people have moved on.
It seems the PNP is being left behind and if they don’t wake up they will get destroyed in the next general election.