No government since the island attained its political independence from Britain in 1966 has failed to obtain a second consecutive term, but the opinion polls suggest that the DLP is in danger of becoming the first party that would fail to achieve to maintain the feat.
The Electoral and Boundaries Commission says 247, 211 voters are eligible to cast ballots on Thursday, as compared with 243, 501 in 2008 and at some of the 541 polling stations, there were long lines, as voters sought to take advantage of the cool early morning temperature.
The Meteorological Office is predicting a hot and sunny day with remperatures expected to rise to 31 degrees.
There are 68 candidates in the race for the 30-seat Parliament and the electoral officials said voting which began at 6.00 am (local time) would continue for the next 12 hours.
The opinion polls suggest that the main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), which was trounced by a 20-10 margin in the 2008 general election, will be the likely winner of the election, but as the party winded up its final meeting on the outskirts of the capital on Wednesday night, Owen Arthur, its leader urged supporters not to stay home and “think we have won because the opinion polls say so.
‘We need a new government in Barbados to deal with the problems such as high cost of living,” said Arthur, the 63 year-old economist, who served as head of government here for 14 years prior to 2008.
But Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, 61, who took over the leadership of the government and the party following the death of then prime minister David Thompson in 2011, told supporters on Wednesday night that the DLP needed another five-year term in order to continue with the task of rebuilding the country.
“We have earned the right to be returned to office after the general elections,” he told supporters
Reprinted from Cananews