1967 British Virgin Islands general election

General elections were held in the British Virgin Islands on 14 April 1967.[1] The election was the first general election after the passing of the new Constitution[2] earlier in the same year, which introduced Ministerial Government into the British Virgin Islands for the first time.[1] Elections under the prior Constitution introduced in 1950[3] to restore the Legislative Council had merely elected legislators. It is probably fair to say that 1967 marked the introduction of true direct democratic rule in the British Virgin Islands. But, notwithstanding the introduction of Ministerial Government, the resulting Legislative Council is still referred to as the 6th Legislative Council in deference to the five prior Councils elected under the 1950 Constitution.[1]

1967 British Virgin Islands general election

← 1963 14 April 1967 (1967-04-14) 1971 →

All seats in the British Virgin Islands Legislative Council
4 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader C.A. Maduro Q.W. Osborne I.G. Fonseca
Party United Party VIDP POP
Leader since 1967 1967 1967
Leader's seat 1st District 4th District 5th District
Seats won 4 2 1
Popular vote 1,094 800 663
Percentage 42.8% 31.3% 25.9%

Chief Minister before election

New Office

Elected Chief Minister

Lavity Stoutt
United Party


Prior to 1967 there had been no political parties in the British Virgin Islands.[1] The election was therefore contested by three, newly created, political parties:[1]

  1. The BVI United Party, led by Conrad Maduro
  2. The VI Democratic Party, led by Qwominer William Osborne
  3. The People's Own Party, led by Isaac Fonseca

The BVI United Party contested all seven available seats. The other two parties only contested five seats each. Lavity Stoutt had been elected each year since 1957. Dr Osborne had been elected during the previous election in 1963. Isaac Fonseca was the political veteran having been elected in every single election held in the Territory, commencing with the first in 1950.

The result was a victory for the BVI United Party which won an overall majority of four seats.[1] However, the party President, Conrad Maduro, did not win a seat and so was unable to become Chief Minister despite leading the party with the highest number of seats. Accordingly, Lavity Stoutt was appointed as the first Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands.[1] The VI Democratic Party won two seats, with the People's Own Party winning the remaining seat. The most closely contested seat between the two parties with a plurality of seats[4] was the Seventh District (Anegada and Virgin Gorda), which Robinson O'Neal won for the BVI United Party by a mere 13 votes over Reeial George for VI Democratic Party.[1] If just seven voters in that district had voted the other way, the VI Democratic Party would have won, and Q.W. Osborne would have been the first Chief Minister. As the results turned out, he had to settle for being the first leader of the opposition. Similarly, if Conrad Maduro had secured a few more votes then he might have been the first Chief Minister. However, as it happened the 1967 election effectively launched a long and successful career for Lavity Stoutt, who would end up being elected Chief Minister five times.

Voter turnout was a relatively high 72.3% with only 5 spoiled ballots in the entire country.[1] The Supervisor of Elections was initially D.K.H. McIntyre, but he had to retire on grounds of ill-health and was replaced by Lionel W. Barker on 27 February 1967.[1]

United Party1,09442.784
VI Democratic Party80031.292
People's Own Party66325.931
Valid votes2,55799.80
Invalid/blank votes50.20
Total votes2,562100.00
Registered voters/turnout3,50073.20
Source: BVI Deputy Governor's Office[1]

By constituencyEdit

Results for the individual electoral districts were as follow:[1]

First Electoral District

Candidate Party Votes Percentage
H. Lavity Stoutt BVI United Party 221 57.0%
Austin Cameron VI Democratic Party 167 43.0%

Second Electoral District

Candidate Party Votes Percentage
Ivan Dawson BVI United Party 171 49.4%
George A. Christopher VI Democratic Party 139 40.2%
Arthur P. Roberts People's Own Party 36 10.4%

Third Electoral District

Candidate Party Votes Percentage
Leopold Smith VI Democratic Party 125 37.7%
Zagoul H. M. Butler People's Own Party 117 35.2%
Stanford Connor BVI United Party 90 27.1%

Fourth Electoral District

Candidate Party Votes Percentage
Q.W. Osborne VI Democratic Party 216 50.3%
Arnando Scatliffe People's Own Party 147 34.3%
Howard R. Penn BVI United Party 66 15.4%

Fifth Electoral District

Candidate Party Votes Percentage
Isaac G. Fonseca People's Own Party 195 56.4%
Conrad Maduro BVI United Party 151 43.6%

Sixth Electoral District

Candidate Party Votes Percentage
Terrance B. Lettsome BVI United Party 229 57.7%
Bernard Penn People's Own Party 168 42.3%

Seventh Electoral District

Candidate Party Votes Percentage
Robinson O'Neal BVI United Party 166 52.0%
Reeial George VI Democratic Party 153 48.0%

Ministerial appointmentsEdit

Lavity Stoutt was appointed as first Chief Minister and first Minister for Education. Q.W. Osborne was appointed as the First Leader of the Opposition. Ivan Dawson, despite not being a member of the BVI United Party, was appointed first Minister for National Resources and Public Health.[1]

Future Chief Minister, Cyril Romney, was also appointed as the first Native BVIslander to act as Financial Secretary after the election.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "BVI election and information results 1950–2011" (PDF). BVI Deputy Governor's Office. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014.
  2. ^ Virgin Islands (Constitution) Order, 1967 (SI No 471 of 1967).
  3. ^ Constitution (Virgin Islands) Act, 1950.
  4. ^ Leopold Smith won the Third District (Sea Cow's Bay) by an even narrower margin for the VI Democratic Party – just 8 votes – but if the second placed candidate (Zagoul Butler) had won those extra votes that would not have affected the BVI United Party's majority of seats.