Democratic Labour Party (Barbados)

Barbados Labour Party Errol Barrow Barbados

Democratic Labour Party
LeaderVerla De Peiza
PresidentVerla De Peiza
Founded1955
Split fromBarbados Labour Party
HeadquartersSt. George Street
IdeologySocial democracy
Democratic socialism
Republicanism
Political positionCentre-left
House of Assembly
0 / 30
Senate
0 / 21
Website
www.dlpbarbados.org

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is a political party in Barbados, established in 1955. It was the ruling party from 15 January 2008 to 24 May 2018, but faced an electoral wipeout in the 2018 general election which left it with no MPs.

In common with Barbados' other major party, the Barbados Labour Party, the DLP has been broadly described as centre-left social-democratic party, with local politics being largely personality-driven and responsive to contemporary issues and the state of the economy. Historically, the BLP claims a heritage from British liberalism,[1] while the DLP was founded 11 years afterwards as a left-wing breakaway group.

History

The DLP was founded in 1955 by Errol Barrow, James Cameron Tudor, Frederick "Sleepy" Smith and 26 others.[2][3] Once members of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), these 29 broke away to form this more left-leaning alternative. However, as a result of their common origin, the two parties have been and remain ideologically similar. In the 1956 general election the DLP received 19.9% of the vote and won four seats.[4] In the following election in 1961 it received fewer votes than the BLP, but won a majority of the seats in Parliament, with Barrow becoming Premier.

After the party retained power in the 1966 election (this time with a plurality of the vote),[5] Barrow became the country's first Prime Minister. The party won a third successive election in 1971, but lost power to the BLP in 1976.[6] It remained in opposition until victory in the 1986 election, in which it won 24 of the 27 seats.[6] The DLP remained in power following the 1991 election, but was defeated by the BLP in 1994. It returned to power again in the 2008 election, when DLP leader David Thompson became Prime Minister. Following his death in 2010, Freundel Stuart succeeded to the office, and led the party to a narrow election victory in 2013.

The 2018 election saw the DLP lose all of its MPs. Stuart stepped down as leader, and Verla De Peiza, unopposed in a leadership election held by the party on 1 August 2018, became his successor in the role of DLP leader and president.[7]

Electoral history

House of Assembly elections

Election Party leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1956 Errol Barrow 19,650 19.9%
4 / 24
Increase 4 Increase 2nd Opposition
1961 39,534 36.3%
15 / 24
Increase 11 Increase 1st Majority government
1966 72,384 49.6%
14 / 24
Decrease 1 Steady 1st Majority government
1971 53,295 57.4%
18 / 24
Increase 4 Steady 1st Supermajority government
1976 45,786 46.4%
7 / 24
Decrease 11 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1981 55,845 47.1%
10 / 27
Increase 3 Steady 2nd Opposition
1986 80,050 59.4%
24 / 27
Increase 14 Increase 1st Supermajority government
1991 Erskine Sandiford 59,900 49.8%
18 / 28
Decrease 6 Steady 1st Majority government
1994 David Thompson 47,979 38.8%
8 / 28
Decrease 10 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1999 45,118 35.1%
2 / 28
Decrease 6 Steady 2nd Opposition
2003 54,746 44.2%
7 / 30
Increase 5 Steady 2nd Opposition
2008 70,135 53.2%
20 / 30
Increase 13 Increase 1st Supermajority government
2013 Freundel Stuart 78,851 51.3%
16 / 30
Decrease 4 Steady 1st Majority government
2018 33,985 22.6%
0 / 30
Decrease 16 Decrease 2nd Extra-parliamentary


West Indies election


Election Party Group Leader Votes Seats Position Government
No. Share No. Share
1958[8] DLP Errol Barrow 25,256 20.3%
0 / 5
0.0% 3rd WIFLP

References

  1. ^ Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Vol. 44 (1998).
  2. ^ "The Party". Official Web Site. Democratic Labour Party. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
  3. ^ Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p85 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  4. ^ Nohlen, pp92-93
  5. ^ Nohlen, p92
  6. ^ a b Nohlen, p94
  7. ^ "Verla De Peiza elected as the new leader of Barbados' Main Opposition Party | The Habari Network". The Habari Network. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Kingston Gleaner Newspaper Archives, Mar 27, 1958, p. 20". NewspaperArchive.com. 27 March 1958. Retrieved 25 June 2020.