At elections held on 11 December 2006, the ruling St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) sought a third consecutive term in office. The SLP had won 14 of the 17 seats at stake at the last elections in 2001, while the United Workers Party (UWP) had taken the remaining three seats.
In the 2006 elections, the UWP was led by veteran politician Sir John Compton, who had governed the country from 1964 to independence in 1979 and then from 1982 to 1996.
Prime Minister Kenny Anthony called on voters to support the SLP Government’s achievements in the previous two terms. In particular, unemployment had fallen from 22 per cent in 1997 to 15 per cent in 2006 and GDP had been on the rise since 2002, growing by a record 5.4 per cent in 2005. The UWP pledged to create 7,000 new jobs, particularly in the IT industry, and to reduce unemployment to 10 per cent within five years. Pre-election opinion polls predicting an increased majority for the SLP were dismissed by the UWP leadership.
Approximately 58 per cent of the 132,500 registered voters turned out at the polls, which were observed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS). Both organizations said they were satisfied that the poll had been conducted “in a free and fair manner”, but recommended changes to election campaign financing rules in order to curb the ever higher levels of media spending.
To general surprise, the final results gave a resounding victory to the opposition UWP. The UWP won 11 seats against six for the SLP, even though it received only 2,372 more votes in total. The outgoing Prime Minister and the former Minister of Tourism, Mr. Phillip J. Pierre, were the only SLP candidates to retain their seats. No women were elected.
Sir John Compton was sworn in as Prime Minister on 15 December 2006. The newly elected House of Assembly held its first session on 9 January 2007. Ms. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun was elected as the new House Speaker, becoming the first woman to assume the post.
Source: Caribbean Elections
|2006 Summary Results|
|Constituency||Registered Votes||SLP||UWP||IND||Rejected||Votes Cast||Turnout|
|Anse La Raye & Canaries||7,060||2,042||2,132||6||81||4,261||60.35%|
|Vieux Fort South||6,830||2,403||1,779||–||71||4,253||62.27%|
|Vieux Fort North||5,234||1,942||944||–||42||2,928||55.94%|
|Castries South East||10,858||2,798||3,227||–||173||6,198||57.08%|
|2006 Vote Distribution|
|Constituency||Code||Total Votes||% Votes||Candidates||Seats|
|St. Lucia Labour Party||SLP||36,604||48.32%||17||6|
|United Workers Party||UWP||38,894||51.34%||17||11|
|TOTAL VALID VOTES||75,756||100%||38||17|
FREE – Freedom Party
NA – National Alliance
PLP – Progressive Labour Party
SLP – Saint Lucia Labour Party
UWP – United Workers Party
IND – Independent