Dalley undaunted in Clarendon Northern

Dalley undaunted in Clarendon Northern

…despite poll trending towards JLP


Thursday, August 13, 2020

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HORACE Dalley, the self-styled “Gangster For Life”, has scoffed at claims that his Clarendon Northern seat is one of those the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will take from the People’s National Party (PNP) when the votes are counted on September 3.

“Every election the JLP wants to take my seat. I don’t know why every single election from I won in 1989 the JLP has targeted my seat, but my base in the constituency is very strong. I am from Clarendon, I have performed well with the people,” Dalley told the Jamaica Observer yesterday in response to reports that a recent public opinion poll showed a trend towards the JLP in the constituency.

The JLP is set to be represented by attorney-at-law Dwight Sibblies in the general election, and Labourities are brimming with confidence following a Bluedot poll that they say showed the political newcomer gaining strides on the PNP heavyweight.

According to JLP sources, of the 405 residents who participated in the poll in the three divisions in the constituency — Aenon Town, Croft’s Hill and Kellits — 35 per cent were positive about the JLP and 14 per cent were very positive, while 24 per cent were positive about the PNP with five per cent being very positive. The poll has a plus or minus probability of three per cent.

But Dalley, who has tasted defeat in the seat only once (2007) in the constituency since 1989, said not only will he win, but the PNP will sweep Clarendon’s northern belt with Richard Azan retaining his Clarendon North Western seat and Dr Desmond Brennan taking Clarendon North Central, which was won in 2016 by the JLP’s Pearnel Charles Sr, but will be represented, this time, by newcomer Robert Nesta Morgan.

“You never take any opponent lightly. We just have to do our work, because you have 6,000 JLP supporters in the constituency. We just have to poll more than them on the day.

“Every JLP candidate who has been there has polled more than 5,000 votes, it is just that we have more Comrades now than JLP supporters, and my Comrades are determined to keep the seat in the winning column for the PNP,” declared Dalley.

He admitted that the residents face challenges with bad roads and water supply issues, but argued that since his first victory in 1989 he has worked hard to develop the human capital in the constituency.

“I have focused a lot on education and training. We have two training facilities for young people running, and a third is coming on. I have plans for when the party returns to Government,” added Dalley.

In the meantime, Sibblies, is equally confident that he has what it takes to emulate Laurie Broderick and take the seat from Dalley.

After a defeat to Dalley in 2002, Broderick, who has since died, returned to win the seat for the JLP in 2007 by 227 votes.

Dalley returned stronger in 2011 to wrest back the seat by 1,705 votes and retained the seat in the 2016 General Election by 732 votes. That is the margin Sibblies will have to turn around.

According to Sibblies, he is very committed to the constituency and is confident that he has a deep knowledge of how to improve the lives of the residents.

“My knowledge of Clarendon Northern is grounded in my walking the hills and valleys, every nook and cranny of the constituency for the past two years, going from house to house and listening to the concerns of the residents and observing the conditions on the ground,” said Sibblies.

He has vowed to address the myriad long-standing problems, such as poor roads, lack of water, limited electricity, poor Internet coverage, and inadequately resourced schools, when he becomes the MP.

Sibblies has also promised to improve the earning opportunities for the constituents by introducing heritage tourism with its potential to earn foreign exchange.

The JLP standard-bearer said he also intends, if elected, to better conditions for the many farmers, in the primarily rural constituency, by improving access to modern farming technology, land, and inputs such as market intelligence.

“Clarendon Northern needs a new vision. This area has been severely neglected by the PNP despite it being so loyal,” argued Sibblies.

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