Democratic Labour Party (Barbados)

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP), colloquially known as the "Dems", is a political party in Barbados, established in 1955. It was the ruling party from 15 January 2008 to 24 May 2018 but faced an electoral wipeout in the 2018 general election which left it with no MPs.

Democratic Labour Party
LeaderVerla De Peiza
PresidentVerla De Peiza
Founded27 April 1955
Split fromBarbados Labour Party
HeadquartersSt. George Street
Ideology
Political positionCentre-left
International affiliationWest Indies Democratic Labour Party (1957–1961)
House of Assembly
0 / 30
Senate
0 / 21
Website
www.dlpbds.org

In common with Barbados' other major party, the Barbados Labour Party, the DLP has been broadly described as centre-left social-democratic party, with local politics being largely personality-driven and responsive to contemporary issues and the state of the economy. Historically, the BLP claims a heritage from British liberalism,[1] while the DLP was founded 11 years afterwards as a more left-leaning breakaway group.

HistoryEdit

The DLP was founded in 1955 by Errol Barrow, James Cameron Tudor, Frederick "Sleepy" Smith and 26 others.[2][3] Once members of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), these 29 broke away to form this more left-leaning alternative. However, as a result of their common origin, the two parties have been and remain ideologically similar. In the 1956 general election the DLP received 19.9% of the vote and won four seats.[4] In the following election in 1961 it received fewer votes than the BLP, but won a majority of the seats in Parliament, with Barrow becoming Premier.

After the party retained power in the 1966 election (this time with a plurality of the vote),[5] Barrow became the country's first Prime Minister. The party won a third successive election in 1971, but lost power to the BLP in 1976.[6] It remained in opposition until victory in the 1986 election, in which it won 24 of the 27 seats.[6] The DLP remained in power following the 1991 election, but was defeated by the BLP in 1994. It returned to power again in the 2008 election, when DLP leader David Thompson became Prime Minister. Following his death in 2010, Freundel Stuart succeeded to the office, and led the party to a narrow election victory in 2013.

The 2018 election saw the DLP lose all of its MPs. Stuart stepped down as leader, and Verla De Peiza, unopposed in a leadership election held by the party on 1 August 2018, became his successor in the role of DLP leader and president.[7]

Electoral historyEdit

House of Assembly electionsEdit

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Outcome
1956 Errol Barrow 19,650 19.9%
4 / 24
  4   2nd Opposition
1961 39,534 36.3%
15 / 24
  11   1st Majority government
1966 72,384 49.6%
14 / 24
  1   1st Majority government
1971 53,295 57.4%
18 / 24
  4   1st Supermajority government
1976 45,786 46.4%
7 / 24
  11   2nd Opposition
1981 55,845 47.1%
10 / 27
  3   2nd Opposition
1986 80,050 59.4%
24 / 27
  14   1st Supermajority government
1991 Erskine Sandiford 59,900 49.8%
18 / 28
  6   1st Majority government
1994 David Thompson 47,979 38.8%
8 / 28
  10   2nd Opposition
1999 45,118 35.1%
2 / 28
  6   2nd Opposition
2003 Clyde Mascoll 54,746 44.2%
7 / 30
  5   2nd Opposition
2008 David Thompson 70,135 53.2%
20 / 30
  13   1st Supermajority government
2013 Freundel Stuart 78,851 51.3%
16 / 30
  4   1st Majority government
2018 33,551 21.8%
0 / 30
  16   2nd Extra-parliamentary

West Indies electionEdit

Election Party Group Leader Votes Seats Position Government
No. Share No. Share
1958[8] DLP Errol Barrow 25,256 20.3%
0 / 5
0.0% 3rd WIFLP

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Vol. 44 (1998).
  2. ^ "The Party". Official Web Site. Democratic Labour Party. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  3. ^ Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p85 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  4. ^ Nohlen, pp92-93
  5. ^ Nohlen, p92
  6. ^ a b Nohlen, p94
  7. ^ "Verla De Peiza elected as the new leader of Barbados' Main Opposition Party | The Habari Network". The Habari Network. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Kingston Gleaner Newspaper Archives, Mar 27, 1958, p. 20". NewspaperArchive.com. 27 March 1958. Retrieved 25 June 2020.

External linksEdit