Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party

The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) is a political party in Antigua and Barbuda. The current leader of the party is Gaston Browne, who serves as the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. The party had previously been led by Lester Bird, who was chairman of the party since 1971, and became Prime Minister and political leader in 1994.

Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party
AbbreviationABLP
LeaderGaston Browne
FounderV.C. Bird
Founded18 May 1946
IdeologySocial democracy
Labourism
Republicanism[1]
Political positionCentre-left
Seats in the House of Representatives
9 / 17
Seats in the Barbuda Council
2 / 11
Website
www.voteablp.ag

HistoryEdit

The party was founded in 1946, during the first national elections, as the Antigua Labour Party (ALP). Its founders included Vere Bird, father of Lester. The ABLP later came to be seen as a political arm of the Bird family. With the exception of five years in the 1970s, the ABLP ruled Antigua and Barbuda for over four decades leading up to 2004. It was in the opposition from 2004 to 2014, and then returned to power in the 2014 general election.

2004 defeatEdit

Two major events precipitated the ABLP's first defeat in 28 years in the 2004 elections. First, an Electoral Commission was introduced after the 1999 election. According to international observers, the 1999 election was rife with irregularities. The report from an observer group from across the Commonwealth concluded that "voting rolls appeared to be inflated" and recommended "the establishment of an independent electoral commission to improve the voter registration process."[2] Second, in 2002 there was a scandal over medical benefits, in which the government failed to contribute EC$120 million to cover recipients' medical expenses.[3]

The opposition United Progressive Party campaigned on an anti-corruption platform they called "Government in the Sunshine." The ABLP lost its majority in the general election held on 24 March 2004. It received 41.8% of the popular vote, but won only four out of 17 seats. ABLP Prime Minister and political leader Bird was also defeated in his constituency.

Leadership crisis and transitionEdit

In early 2009, the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party faced an internal leadership crisis. There was speculation that even if the ABLP won the 2009 election, Bird's leadership would be challenged.[4] He announced that, if the ABLP failed to win the forthcoming 2009 general election, he would step down.[5] Nevertheless, despite not winning, he remained the ABLP's leader[6] until 2012, when he was defeated by Gaston Browne in a leadership challenge.

2014 elections and return to governmentEdit

The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party won 14 of the 17 seats in the Legislature in the 2014 general elections, forming a majority government with Browne as Prime Minister. They won 15 seats in the 2018 general elections and thereby retained power.

Electoral resultsEdit

House of RepresentativesEdit

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1951 Vere Bird 4,182 87.4
8 / 8
New 1st Majority
1956 5,509 86.7
8 / 8
  0   1st Majority
1960 2,128 85.0
10 / 10
  2   1st Majority
1965 7,275 78.9
10 / 10
  0   1st Majority
1971 6,409 37.9
4 / 17
  6   2nd Opposition
1976 12,056 49.0
11 / 17
  7   1st Majority
1980 12,794 58.0
13 / 17
  2   1st Majority
1984 12,972 67.9
16 / 17
  3   1st Majority
1989 14,207 63.9
15 / 17
  1   1st Majority
1994 Lester Bird 14,763 54.4
11 / 17
  4   1st Majority
1999 17,521 52.6
12 / 17
  1   1st Majority
2004 16,534 41.9
4 / 17
  8   2nd Opposition
2009 19,657 46.9
7 / 17
  3   2nd Opposition
2014 Gaston Browne 24,212 56.5
14 / 17
  7   1st Majority
2018 23,063 59.24
15 / 17
  1   1st Majority
2023 20,052 47.1
9 / 17
  6   1st Majority

Barbuda CouncilEdit

Election Leaders Votes Seats Position Government
No. % ± No. ±
1976 Vere Bird
1979[7] [8] BPM
1981 BPM
1983 BPM
1985 BPM
1987 BPM
1989 BPM
1991/1992 BPM
1993/1994 BPM
1996[8] Lester Bird [8]  1st Majority
1997 BPM
1999 BPM
2001 BPM
2003 BPM
2005 [9] BPM
2007 [10][11] 2nd BPM
2009 [12][13][8] BPM
2011 1,680[14] 48.81 [14][13][8] 2nd BPM
2013 Gaston Browne 2,295[15] 53.51
6 / 11
[15][13]
 1st Majority
2015
8 / 11
[16]
 2  1st Majority
2017 2,791[17] 48.34
6 / 11
[18]
 2  1st Majority
2019
2 / 11
 4  2nd BPM
2021 1,319[19][20][21] 36.19
2 / 11
 2  2nd BPM

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Antigua and Barbuda may become republic within 3 years after British queen's demise". news.am. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  2. ^ "US State Department Human Rights Report", 23 February 2000
  3. ^ "Fraud". Miami Herald, 4 April 2002
  4. ^ "Who's the Leader" Da Garat, 11 January 2009[unreliable source?]
  5. ^ "Bird to call it quits if ABLP fails at polls", Antigua Sun, 30 December 2008
  6. ^ "Bird said he is ready for court challenge to electoral law". Antigua Observer. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  7. ^ "THE BARBUDA LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT CHAPTER 44" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d e Pat (19 August 2012). "ALP candidates announced for March 2013 Council election". Barbudaful. Retrieved 24 January 2022. The Barbuda Council has been controlled by the BPM since the first election was held around 35 years ago. The ALP gained control for a brief period in 1996.
  9. ^ pj67admin (23 March 2005). "Barbuda Council Election Day". Barbudaful. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  10. ^ pj67admin (1 March 2007). "Barbuda Council elections". Barbudaful. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  11. ^ pj67admin (23 March 2007). "Barbudan Council Election Results". Barbudaful. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  12. ^ pj67admin (8 January 2013). "Result of the BPM Primaries". Barbudaful. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b c "Caribbean Elections | Members of the Senate of Antigua and Barbuda 2009 – 2014". www.caribbeanelections.com. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  14. ^ a b pj67admin (4 April 2011). "Barbuda Council Election Results". Barbudaful. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  15. ^ a b pj67admin (18 February 2013). "The Results". Barbudaful. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  16. ^ "BPM are back – two more seats in Council". Barbudaful. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  17. ^ barbudaful (30 March 2017). "BPM bring back Council". Barbudaful. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  18. ^ "It's done … time to move on". Antigua Observer Newspaper. 29 March 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Clean Sweep for BPM". 30 March 2021.
  20. ^ barbudaful (18 March 2021). "Council elections March 29th 2021". Barbudaful. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Barbuda Council Elections 2021 Results". www.abec.gov.ag. Archived from the original on 4 January 2022. Retrieved 4 January 2022.