Many years ago, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves boasted that his Unity Labour Party (ULP) has a well-thought-out philosophy and a far more compelling narrative than the New Democratic Party (NDP). In the early days, the ULP campaigned on the slogan “Better By Far”. Notwithstanding their usual pompous campaigns, the ULP has steadily lost support since romping home to a resounding 12-3 victory in 2001.
For instance, in 2001, in my constituency of South Windward, the ULP won by nearly 1,500 votes. That is how the NDP went into opposition — by losing several of their seats by well in excess of 1,000 votes. As early as 2005, the ULP saw a sharp decline in support and lost four seats by 2010. With the Argyle International Airport substantially complete in 2015, a dream long held by every Vincentian, the ULP failed to see any increase in seats. They consoled themselves by focusing on the increase in the popular vote. After all, though the NDP retained their seven seats, they did so marginally. By 12 votes in North Leeward, 149 in East Kingstown and 118 in South Leeward. Not so for the seats retained by the ULP. Their seats were retained with significant increases.