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Trinidad & Tobago: Opposition Wins Again; Government Still Optimistic

Categories: Caribbean, Trinidad & Tobago, Citizen Media, Elections, Humor, Media & Journalism, Politics

The results of the St. Joseph by-election in Trinidad [1] have come in and – just as in the recently concluded Local Government Elections [2] – the opposition People's National Movement [3] has emerged victorious. The seat was previously held by former Justice Minister Herbert Volney [4] of the People's Partnership [5] coalition government. Twitter [6] and Facebook have both seen netizen commentary about the outcome.

Early on, journalist @john_yearwood [7] wondered if people were calling the seat too quickly:

Eldwin Baptiste [15] was convinced that the PNM would hold on to its lead:

Even before the official results were announced, the Ccn Tvnews Facebook page [24] felt secure enough in its sources to post that:

PNM Candidate Terrence Deyalsingh wins the St. Joseph By-Election: PNM 6308 votes; ILP 1986 votes; UNC 5605; IND 303 votes; DNA 9 votes. (53 of 53 stations) Source: Solution By Simulation

Much of the reader commentary on that post referred to the “wetting” [25] that government's candidate Ian Alleyne promised his political rivals. Denecia J S Boodoo [26] said:

ian[‘s] wetting after wetting has back fire[d] on him

The official results that were released later that night confirmed the early trends [27]. An official statement from the Elections and Boundaries Commission noted that [28] the opposition's candidate led the government's by 779 votes; just over 50% of the eligible population voted.

The PNM's official Facebook page, which changed its cover photo [29] in anticipation of the by-election, wasted no time in celebrating the win [30]:

Congratulations to Terrance Deyalsingh MP for St. Joseph.
Thank you for leading the way to the next General Elections!!

Impact on Governance [31] soon quoted the opposition leader, Dr. Keith Rowley, in this tweet [32]:

The government wasn't quite prepared to admit defeat, though, seeing that its losing candidate came in at what some supporters thought was a strong second place. According to the C News Live Facebook page [38], Alleyne himself noted that:

“In 10 days time I have done a lot. What it takes some MPs 5 years I did in 10 days…”

Facebook user Patricia Worrell was not surprised [39] at the government's reaction:

So! PNM won!
Waiting for KPB to come and ‘explain’ to us why it's really a UNC victory!

Finally, the memes started coming, with one of the most blunt referring to the then-teenager at the centre of this controversial story [40], who happens to be Ian Alleyne's sister:

Meme by Trini Public Sector Comics.

Meme by Trini Public Sector Comics – www.facebook.com/trinicomics

The thumbnail image used in this post [41] is by Georgia Popplewell, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license [42]. Visit Georgia Popplewell's flickr photostream [43]. All Facebook status in this post that do not belong to public pages have been used with permission.