Record turnout delivers electoral defeat for Social Democrats in Gibraltar after 15 years in charge - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Record turnout delivers electoral defeat for Social Democrats in Gibraltar after 15 years in charge

Friday, 9 December 2011
Socialist Labour leader Fabian Picardo celebrates his parties strong resultGibraltarians have turned out in record numbers in their latest parliamentary elections and have elected a coalition of Gibraltar’s Socialist Labour (GSLP) and Liberal (GLP) parties to head up the 17-seat administration finally ousting Social Democrat (GSD) leader Peter Caruana who served as the Chief Minister since 1996.

The GSLP/GLP alliance won 10 on the Parliament's 17 seats with 48.88% of the vote, with an exceptionally high turnout of 82.52% (17,917), the largest number of voters in Gibraltar’s electoral history. The GSD obtained 46.76%.

Socialist Labour leader Fabian Picardo, above left, who only became leader of his party in April, will become the Rock’s next Chief Minister with Liberal leader Dr Joseph Garcia set to become the Deputy Chief Minister.

Shortly after his election, Mr Picardo declared it was “a privilege to lead this nation of ours” and held his political triumph as the dawning of a new era for Gibraltar – the theme of his manifesto.

Referring to Mr Caruana with whom he has had a bitter political rivalry over the past few years, Mr Picardo, magnanimous in victory said that the GSD leader had done “many good things for Gibraltar” which he would seek to build upon and not denigrate. Mr Caruana had earlier offered to brief him on matters of ongoing public interest for the Rock - “a hand of friendship” in the period of transition - which Mr Picardo readily accepted.

Mr Picardo added that after 15 years waiting in opposition “he could not wait a moment longer” to start working in earnest.

Gibraltar is the only British Overseas Territory to be represented in the European Union, and is home to a number of political parties that have developed to address local issues. The Gibraltar Parliament (previously the House of Assembly) consists of seventeen elected members, and the Speaker.

Under the electoral system of partial bloc voting used since 1969, voters must choose ten candidates, who need necessarily not be from the same party but usually are. The winning candidates are then chosen by simple plurality; consequently, a party seeking to form a government stands ten candidates, and the party that forms the government is usually successful in having all ten of its candidates elected; the remaining seats are usually won by the 'best loser' which then forms the opposition.

The duly elected members of Gibraltar's parliament: (source)

PICARDO, Fabian Raymond (GSLP / Liberal)
CORTES, John Emmanuel (GSLP / Liberal)
GARCIA, Joseph John (GSLP / Liberal)
LICUDI, Gilbert Horace (GSLP / Liberal)
BOSSANO, Joseph John (GSLP / Liberal)
BRUZON, Charles Arthur (GSLP / Liberal)
CARUANA, Peter Richard (GSD)
COSTA, Neil Francis (GSLP / Liberal)
FEETHAM, Daniel Anthony (GSD)
LINARES, Steven Ernest (GSLP / Liberal)
SACRAMENTO, Samantha Jane (GSLP / Liberal)
BALBAN, Paul John (GSLP / Liberal)
BOSSINO, Damon James (GSD)
REYES, Edwin Joseph (GSD)
NETTO, James Joseph (GSD)
FIGUERAS, Selwyn Matthew (GSD)

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