CLARENDON SOUTH EASTERN: A BRIEF HISTORY
What’s in a name you might ask. Clarendon South Eastern underwent a name change when it 1972 Hugh Shearer contested the newly created seat of Clarendon South PNP
The constituency’s first Member of Parliament was Sir Alexander Bustamante who went onto to become independent Jamaica’s first prime minister.
After the retirement of Bustamante, the mantle was taken up by Hugh Shearer.
By 1976, Clarendon Southern was removed and replaced by Clarendon south eastern. Shearer trounced his PNP’s rival Ronald Powell.
1980 stirred up further dominance where Hugh Shearer squeezed the orange juice out of his rival Churchill Henry polling 9,712 votes to Henry’s 3,178 votes.
By 1989, Shearer extended his wins to four coincidentally winning by four votes. The PNP’s Emanuel Cousins polled 7,295 votes and Shearer managed to scrape by with survived by 7,299.
In 1993, Peter Bunting brought an end to the distinguished career of Hugh Shearer, former Prime Minister, trade unionist.
The JLP polled 5,215 votes and the PNP, 6,658 – winning majority of 1,443 votes.
The PNP continued its new found love affair for Clarendon south eastern winning in 1997 with its candidate Basil Burrell polling 7,296 to hold off JLP candidate Edwin Singh who polled 7,242 votes by a mere 56 votes.
After what could be said to be a break in transmission, the 2002 General Elections was a return to regular programming where Rudyard Spencer 7,997 to defeat Burrell (7,425). Spencer retained the seat, winning the 2011 contest 8,843 to 8,736 over the PNP’s Derrick Lambert.
2016 Spencer garnered 52.54% of the votes to tally 10045 to stave off Patricia Duncan-Sutherland who polled 9074 (47.46%)
Notable areas in this constituency are Mineral Heights, Palmer’s Cross, Hayes, Lionel Town and the southern coastal area of Rocky Point. To paint an idyllic picture of Clarendon South Eastern would be akin to tripping on mushrooms. A lot more needs to be done. Despite being the home turf of two former Prime Ministers and four time member of Parliament, Ruddy Spencer, much is left to be desired.
The By-election for March 2 is just around the corner and it is a template for which party is going to form the next government when Jamaica’s 18 th General Elections are called.