Grenadian researcher Dr Justin Pierre believes that former Social Development Minister Delma Thomas who defected from the New National Party (NNP) of Keith Mitchell to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell after the June 2022 general election can still hold onto her St Andrew North-west seat in the next general election.
Speaking to THE NEW TODAY on the weekend, Dr. Pierre who is associated with the firm Dunn, Pierre, Barnett & Company Canada Ltd said he formed this impression following a survey done by his outfit at the time of the decision taken by Thomas to quit NNP and join the government side in the Lower House of Parliament.
He said that 73% of the respondents in the survey indicated that if the female MP moved from the Green of NNP to Yellow of Congress they will still support her at the polls.
“I think she will win it – based on the day when we conducted the data the people supported her. I don’t know what has changed – we have not conducted any type of survey afterwards but the data that we have … is that she will still win,” he remarked.
According to Dr. Pierre, this signal that came from persons in the rural constituency helped MP Thomas to make up her mind to switch allegiance to Congress and Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.
Thomas was one of six NNP candidates who won their seats in the last general election in which the ruling party suffered an unexpected defeat.
The Delma Thomas split with the NNP followed disagreements with party leader Dr. Keith Mitchell on his successor after the 77-year old leader announced that he was bowing out of frontline politics.
She told constituents that Dr. Mitchell slammed her for suggesting that the party’s Assistant General Secretary Peter David, the former Minister of Agriculture, was the ideal person to take over the leadership of NNP from him.
According to MP Delma Thomas, the ex-Grenadian leader accused David of trying to mash up the NNP over his ambitions to become the new party boss.
She also accused Dr. Mitchell of holding back certain finances promised to her and other MP’s over the fall-out with David.
St Andrew North-west is the only constituency in St Andrew in which a sitting MP has been able to switch sides and still hold onto the seat.
Former government minister Alleyne Walker won the seat in the 1984 election with the NNP, and successfully defended it in 1990 on the ticket of The National Party (TNP) under then Prime Minister, the late Ben Jones.
Walker also won the seat in the 2008 general election with the Congress team led by Tillman Thomas.
THE NEW TODAY cannot confirm reports that former Prime Minister Dr. Mitchell has since recruited another female from the constituency as a potential candidate for NNP in the upcoming general election.