COMMENTARY: Simon versus George – Who Shall Prevail in St. Mary South’s Bi-elections, Antigua-Barbuda?


By Arvel Grant   Post date

On January 18th 2023, Kelvin Simon (UPP) defeated Samantha Marshall (ABLP) by 199 votes (862 VS1,061). Ms. Marshall won the seat in the   2 previous general elections by  comparatively  modest margins.

It is safe to count this constituency as leaning more UPP than Labor… During the campaign, Labor vowed to challenge a Simon-victory, on the basis that his nomination might not be legal. Mr.  Simon rode a massive swing away from Labor, to defeat Ms.  Marshall, by a convincing 199 margin. Almost 10% of votes cast…

As Labour  pressed  its challenge, Mr. Simon  exhibited a  unique brand of shrewd political instinct. The UPP candidate  determined,  that he would rather his fate decided  by the voters and not by a judge in the High court.

So he  resigned his seat (apparently)  to  trigger  a bi-election in the midst of the annual economic low-tide, which occurs outside the tourism season… .

The sustained and  public confusion,  which Simon’s action had on Speaker and government, suggested that the young politician, may have   left the “gates” with a stunning advantage.

An obvious stroke of political genius (if he goes on to win) or a gambler’s nightmare, if he looses…

Interestingly, Ms. Marshall started a  high-profiled campaign to take back the seat, then resigned rather suddenly. So, Mr George (a body-builder) is the new Labor candidate for St. Marys South.

On the face of it, the UPP can be excused for thinking that Mr. Simon holds an unbeatable hand, given his 199 vote margin in defeating Ms.  Marshall.

But labourites eyeing a victory for Mr George,  will be mindful  that “the “power of incumbency” can make all the difference in bi-elections. In such contests, political parties are focused on  single constituencies.

Giving the incumbent unprecedented advantages, because of the governing party’s access to logistics, services,  material and money…

Of course, the unbridled  concentration of state resources, on single constituencies, operating under bi-election conditions, could galvanize voter back-lash from opposition and independent electors. So prudent incumbents are   cautious in the  exercise  of such options…

A win for Simon, gives the UPP  the luxury  of keeping 6 while  focusing on winning a mere  2 seats (perhaps City East and St Mary’s North) to form the government with Barbuda’s BPM…

A win for George,   gives Labor a chance to step-back from the political abyss, framed by its (current)  9 to 8 majority in the house. Armed with 10 seats, Labor could then  up the tempo on retaking St. Georges, which the UPP won with a relatively  thin majority.

As things stands, the other  UPP seats have been won for at least 2 general elections – Not likely to be in contention until 2033…

Going into the bi-election, the  accuracy of the list of electors, should be of concern to both parties. Up to 648 electors did not vote (1,940 voted,   from  a electors list of 2,588. This number is questionable. In Antigua-Barbuda, the names of dead electors remain on the list for up to 10 years.  The UN’s statistical department,  estimated the country’s crude death rate at 6 per thousand in 2022. .

Assuming relative constancy, up to 18  electors may have died each year or 180  since 2013.  So,   180  names of dead people, could be on the list in St. Mary’s South. The candidates must  “exorcise” them as possible electors. 648 -180=468 is the likely # of electors who did not vote. Great campaigns  give  such electors a lot of attention in bi-elections…

So, the result of the upcoming bi-election in the St. Mary’s South constituency, is  not a forgone conclusion. Both sides should keep their eyes on those divisions and boxes from which up to 180 dead electors may have transitioned; and  get the attention of the468  “no-shows” in the Jan 18th general elections…

Regardless of who wins, The bi-election results, will determine the 2028 elections campaign…

Walk good…  and let us see if Simon and the UPP have what is required to keep-out  George  and Labor’s power of incumbency in St. Mary’s South.







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  1. This looks more like a Body Building Competition than a Bi Election.The ABLP made a wrong move they are going to Lose this seat again.

  2. All I have to say is that you incumbent dye headed politicians in the Labour Party, when your neighbor house on fire wet yours. Robin vengeance is a dictator play ground. You gave problems in accepting the back bencher position- throat cut. Maulwin and Cutie throat cut- too old. Chet you are playing Mr. Righteous and planning a coup. GB done up to your tactics – throat cut.( point FM running things not Liberta FM . Dean no return.
    Now that will lead the ABLP out of power and will take decades to recover. In fact if allowed to continue until the next election GB could well destroy the APLP institution and reduce both the organization and its history to the dust binds.

  3. Very interesting points made.
    Buy I feel shaggy will win..
    Even with all the shenanigans
    and the inducements shaggy will take the seat..
    What surprises me is that if he felt a type of way, why did he stay with and campaigned Even though he was unhappy 🙁 .
    It shows bad mind and judas like
    Quality on his part..
    Which I feel doesn’t become him..
    He’s free to change party affliation
    But you were colluding with the enemy..shame!
    You are going to lose big!!
    I hope it was worth your loyalty.

  4. Your vote is more important than you realise.

    The future Antigua is in your hands. It’s no surprise Porkston Browne had to finally admit she can’t pay off the loan from she took from the Chinese to build the Port. Now look at what will happen sooner than you think. The Chinese will take ownership of the Port and will impose their own rules and regulations most of which will not include Antiguans. I hope all those who keep on voting for Porkston Browne and her teefing partners will be happy when their children’s children can no longer enjoy our country like we are now. All the little mampy shit Porkston Browne love to hand out for votes don’t mean shit when you can’t live in your own country they way you want to. Yida was bad enough where we as born Antiguans can’t even go in the surrounding waters but they could.

    To make things worse, at the end of it all, your Porkston Browne and her family especially her son will live a comfortable life in luxury and squalor while you the voters can’t even put food on your table and feed you own pickney dem. Your Porkston Browne won’t even thank you for helping her enrich herself. She will be eating her steaks and lobsters and the rest of the fine foods while you can’t even afford a bread and cheese.

    Keep on voting for your Porkston Browne till you have no lands left to live on and no food to put on your tables. Even her ass kissers on this forum won’t enjoy Porkston Browne’s lifestyle.

    This is the article I am referring to and more losses on the way if you keep voting creative enrichment aholes in like your Porkston Browne

  5. WHY WOULD ANYONE WITH A BRAIN VOTE FOR GEORGEM . This guy was just supporting Simon. What can he now go and tell the people? I was a Judas all the time or a wolf in sheep clothing. The people of St Mary’s South need to send him to an early retirement . Don’t be fooled by what he is saying . When you lie with dogs you rise with fleas. The claim of talent with out morals and empathy for the suffering speaks volumes.

  6. George is a sacrificial lamb cutting his teeth in the political arena. He is not expected to win. George will probably be ready for the next go around….

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