NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While the Coalition of Independents (COI), led by Lincoln Bain, failed to pick up a single seat in the general election, the party that was formed less than a year ago captured nearly 8,000 votes, outperforming the Democratic National Alliance (DNA).
The COI formed in early 2021, launching 26 of its ratified candidates in March — six months before the general election.
The COI contested 32 of the 39 seats and captured 7,852 votes based on election results from the Parliamentary Registration Department (PRD).
This represents 6.2 percent of the total number of votes.
The DNA was formed in May 2011, a year before the May 2012 General Election.
The DNA, which secured 8.5 percent of the vote in 2012 and 4.7 percent in 2017, got just over one percent of the vote last Thursday.
On the campaign trail, then Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the election was a race between the Free National Movement (FNM) and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
He said a vote for any other party but the FNM was a vote for the PLP.
While data gleaned from the PRD does not categorize the COI’s base or whether its supporters were pulled from a major party or comprised of undecided voters, the election results show a consistent influence of the party in each constituency.
For example, in Pinewood, where its leader ran, Bain got 641 votes.
FNM incumbent Reuben Rahming received 937 votes, while the PLP’s Myles Laroda got 1,712.
Additionally, the DNA’s candidate Steven Nesbitt got 53 votes.
Even if all of the voters who cast their ballots for Bain and Nesbitt had selected Rahming instead, it would not have been enough to secure the seat.
This was not the case for the North Abaco seat, where Cay Mills received 719 votes — the most among the COI’s candidates.
The PLP’s Kirk Cornish received 1,344; FNM incumbent Darren Henfield got 1,085; Renardo Curry of the Kingdom Government Movement (KGM) picked up 31; and Kathleen Knowles-Seymour of the Righteous Government Movement (RGM) got three votes.
Had Henfield captured half of Mills’ votes, he would have held onto the seat with 1,444 votes.
Had the 416 votes for the COI’s Central Grand Bahama candidate Latanya Ferguson-Strachan gone to the PLP’s Kirkland Russell, who received 1,760 votes, it would have been enough to best FNM incumbent Iram Lewis.
Lewis got 2,091 votes.
According to the party, the coalition was formed to usher in a shift from “modern slavery, oppression and corruption to a nation of empowered, educated owners that stand together”.
The COI pledged every Bahamian would receive their birthright, including a share of the country’s natural resources, under COI leadership.