PM Says Polling Not Primaries Will Determine ABLP Candidates


(Antigua News Room) Prime Minister Gaston Browne has given early indication that it is polling and not primaries that will determine which candidates are selected to run in the next general election on Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party tickets.

Browne was responding to a party supporter who favoured Colin James as the ABLP candidate for All Saints East & St. Luke, a seat being held by Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle.

Browne told Pointe FM  that his party’s methodology in choosing candidates is to choose the candidate who stands the best chance of winning the seat. “So what we will do at some point is to poll the constituency using different options maybe three or four different individuals and to determine who the people want.”

Businessman Neil Cochrane has also expressed interest in contesting the seat and Browne said other candidates who wish to throw their hat in the ring will also be polled.

He is not in support of the method being employed now by the main opposition United Progressive Party in selecting its candidates.

“We don’t believe in these primaries in which you can become a candidate based on the fact that 30 people in the branch may have voted for you.

“When you look at Rural East for example, where Sean Bird emerged as a candidate for the UPP with 30 something votes in a constituency with 5000 people, that is not representative of the constituency ,” the ABLP leader said.

“The best representation you could have is to poll several people and make determination as to who the people want,” he added.

Browne said “I have a policy when it comes to candidature; me na hab no fren, is whoever can win, I am looking for winners not runners.”




  1. The UPP can’t seem to get their people out to vote in the primaries. That system doesn’t work here. Such a tiny minority of the UPP determining who is their candidate. Polling is a far better approach. This isn’t the USA with their primary system. Doesn’t work here, obviously.

    • If UPP would have done polling instead we all know for sure that murder would not have been selected to a candidate. It amazes me at the double standard of the UPP and all who defend that decision to allow someone with that character to run but had the shoe been on the other foot you would have heard them morning noon and night. The UPP need to clean their house first before they come for anyone.

  2. I am looking for winners not runners.”…well Neil in that case nominate either Scrum Pum, First lady, Syrian Soca or Babba Babba. Me no think Colin can outrun any of them so you will be a sure winner!

  3. POLLING of the Constituency is the best. Unlike UPP with 30 Persons Nominating People in the Constituency which is rather stupid. No wonder UPP attracts all WASH YOU FOOT and COME.

  4. It does not matter what the Prime Minister says or wants, it is what is required according to the Constitution of the ABLP. Since I am not aware of the requirement according to the ABLP Constitution, I am asking Audley “Beef” Joseph who is an expert in this area to educate me. And Beef please remember that if the Prime Minister does not follow the Constitution, you will have to use your favourite word of dictator to describe him.

    You always talk about Constitution and UPP does not follow Their Constitution. UPP select Who They want to win in the PRIMARY. So stop talking about Constitution. Tabor ..You never practice WHAT YOU PREACH. This is the reason why UPP will be in OPPOSITION for the next 30 years.
    Look at what UPP has done to DRIFTWOOD…Parachuted CLEON ATHILL to win the Primary. Serpent and Cleon Athill did NOT win the Primary HONESTLY.
    Cleon Athill and Serpent are the TWO BIGGEST Hypocrites in Antigua. They formed THE MOVEMENT to take over UPP and propel Them into Politics. Tabor…These are the issues you should study and leave ABLP alone. You are a ONE SIDED Person. PERCEPTION is REALITY.

  6. A.TORSON I was expecting a response from Beef since I really want to know what is the process outlined in the Constitution of the ABLP for the selection of candidates for a general election. The UPP did not parachute Cleon as the candidate for St. Psuls. If you want an example of parachuting a person to become a candidate, just look at the St. John’s Rural East constituency and what was done to Alincia Grant by Gaston so that his wife would become the candidate. Anyway, if you can help me I would still like to know what is the process according to the ABLP Constitution for selecting its candidates.

  7. To have primaries you have to have branches. ALP does not have branches. Gaston and only Gaston decides who run. End of story.

    • Audley “Beef” Joseph says that Harold Lovell is dictator because of the veto power he has under the UPP constitution. However, if you are correct with respect to the ABLP, then Gaston Browne is more than a dictator. It is difficult to find a word to describe his absolute Godlike power.

  8. Tabor why don’t you advise the party who you clearly support to clean their own house before you worry about what Gaston and his gang doing. The UPP is just as rotten as ABLP when it comes to chosing candidates.

  9. @Duncy Bat (name well chosen)
    Why don’t you, for a change offer something of value to the national conversation?
    In your anarchist mind, you would just throw into the ring any Bozo, any Neil, any just come. Representation is serious business. Colin James, of all the contenders named to date, is the only one deserving of the opportunity. During the period 2014-18, he was often described as one of the most hardworking ABLP political aspirants. Though he was defeated in the 2018 elections, Colin was a winner in many respects. Let’s not pretend. Everyone knows that the constituency of All Saints East and St. Luke was always a PLM/UPP stronghold. Who could forget motorcades in the past when stone throwing by rabid, unruly opposition supporters from certain villages interrupted such activities. That Collin was able to come within ten votes of defeating an incumbent was nothing short of miraculous and he should be honored for his “success”. He needs to be allowed to build on that success. Neil, I strongly suspect, is yet another UPP operative sent to infiltrate, destroy and ultimately defeat a seemingly invisible ABLP. I am so amused listening to Neil talking about his suitability for the post bacause of what his father did way back then. Now that he is no longer a big shot in the Kennedy empire, a failure in his attempt to wrest power at the NOC, he dreams of being referred to as Hon. Neil Cochrane! Mr PM, beware of the flatterers. Do not belittle or take for granted the long suffering, loyal, faithful, unwavering supporters of the ABLP in favor of these Janes and Johnnies -come-lately.
    Neil, go back to the conspirators and convince them to let you run in Harold Lovell’s place instead.

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