Barbados Elections: Some Insights and Analysis

Barbadians will be going to the polls in 2018 with one media outlet suggesting that elections will be called in May. Curious about past election results – for Barbados – I searched around and found the Caribbean Elections website. This site features a treasure trove of election related data for Barbados as well as several other Caribbean countries.

The table I created (see below) consists of high-level Barbados election data sourced from Caribbean Elections (C.E.) between 1951 and 2013. Non-Voter data was not provided by C.E., so I calculated it based on available data:

Note 1: Number of parties do not include Independent Candidates.

Note 2: There are no definitive conclusions here – unless you want to take a leap of faith – just interesting insights and basic analysis that may be worth further research and investigation.

Some Insights and Basic Analysis

1. Based on the data both parties (BLP and DLP) have enjoyed at least two consecutive terms in power. In other words, Barbadians will give you at least two chances to run the country, in some cases three, and then you’re out.

2. Speaking of three chances, the BLP wasn’t the only party to enjoy an extended run: The DLP enjoyed the same in 1961, ’66 and ’71.

3. Voter turnout was something else that interested me. On average, voter turnout has been 67.43%. Is this considered good or bad? Comparisons with other countries will have to be made. However, there was a “bump” during the 1966 (Independence), 1971, 1976,1981 and 1986 elections where average turn out was 76.74%. If we remove those elections, average voter turnout was: 62.26%.

4. There have been 14 general elections since 1951 with the last one held during 2013. The BLP has won 7 of them and the DLP has won 7.

5. A worrying trend appears to be developing where the number of registered voters is increasing at a higher rate than the number of total votes cast. Why is this?

6. During the last elections (2013) there were almost 95,000 non-voters compared with 249,000 registered voters. Is it that voters are apathetic?

Charts (Based on the Table Above)

In the near future, I will compare the data for Barbados to similar data-sets for Trinidad and Jamaica.

 

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