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2006 Saint Lucian general election
The Saint Lucian general election of 2006 took place in Saint Lucia on 11 December 2006. The election was fought between the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and the United Workers Party (UWP) which between them dominated politics in Saint Lucia. The results saw the governing Saint Lucia Labour Party lose the election to the United Workers Party led by John Compton, which gained eight seats to hold an eleven to six majority.
However in 2005 John Compton came out of retirement to become leader of the opposition United Workers Party again. Compton had led Saint Lucia to independence in 1979 and then been Prime Minister from 1982 until he resigned in 1996. Compton defeated Vaughan Lewis in an election for the leadership of the United Workers Party with Lewis later defecting from the UWP to fight the 2006 election for the Saint Lucia labour Party.
A by-election in Castries Central in March 2006 was seen as starting a long campaign for the election due in December. The by-election was won by an Independent candidate Richard Frederick in a seat which the Saint Lucia Labour Party had won in the last two elections. Frederick would later join the United Workers Party and stood for the party in the general election.
In the campaign the United Workers Party focused on crime, which they saw as increasing, and promised to make it a priority if they were elected. Their leader Compton pledged to tackle unemployment, which they said was to blame for much of the crime in Saint Lucia. They also promised to revive the banana industry in Saint Lucia and accused the Saint Lucia Labour Party of corruption and nepotism. However the age of the United Workers Party leader John Compton, at 81, became an issue with the Saint Lucia Labour Party calling on voters to not entrust the country to him.
The governing Saint Lucia Labour Party defended their record in office and put the strong economic growth over the last few years at the centre of their campaign. They also pledged to continue tackling crime in Saint Lucia and to bring in a mandatory capital punishment for anyone convicted of murder. The Saint Lucia Labour Party received assistance in the campaign from the Prime Ministers of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica who both spoke in favour of the party at rallies.
The police commissioner in Saint Lucia described the election as the most peaceful yet in Saint Lucia with election monitors from CARICOM and the Organisation of American States observing the election. Four opinion polls as the election neared showed differing results with each political party favoured by two of the polls. There was controversy over the release of a poll two days before the election which strongly favoured the Saint Lucia Labour Party, with the United Workers Party describing it as a "laughing stock" as it had been conducted back on the 25 and 26 November.
The results saw the United Workers Party gain a majority in the election, winning 11 of the 17 seats. While the United Workers Party won a strong majority of the seats they were only around 2,000 votes, or 3%, ahead of the Saint Lucia Labour Party. The election resulted in John Compton succeeding Kenny Anthony, and Compton became Prime Minister again at the age of 81.
|United Workers Party (UWP)||38,894||51.3||+13.5%||11||+8|
|Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP)||36,604||48.3||–7.7%||6||–8|
|Total (turnout 58.5%)||75,756||100.0||17|
|Sources: Summary election results – 11 Dec 2006, OAS|
|Anse la Raye/Canaries||Keith Mondesir||United Workers Party gain|
|Babonneau||Ezekiel Joseph||United Workers Party gain|
|Castries Central||Richard Frederick||United Workers Party gain|
|Castries East||Philip Pierre||Saint Lucia Labour Party hold|
|Castries North||Stephenson King||United Workers Party gain|
|Castries South||Robert Lewis||Saint Lucia Labour Party hold|
|Castries South East||Guy Joseph||United Workers Party gain|
|Choiseul||Rufus Bousquet||United Workers Party gain|
|Dennery North||Marcus Nicholas||United Workers Party hold|
|Dennery South||Edmund Estephane||United Workers Party gain|
|Gros Islet||Lenard Montoute||United Workers Party gain|
|Laborie||Alva Baptiste||Saint Lucia Labour Party hold|
|Micoud North||John Compton||United Workers Party hold|
|Micoud South||Arsene James||United Workers Party hold|
|Soufriere||Harold Dalson||Saint Lucia Labour Party hold|
|Vieux Fort North||Moses Jean Baptiste||Saint Lucia Labour Party hold|
|Vieux Fort South||Kenny Anthony||Saint Lucia Labour Party hold|
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