JAMAICANS head to the polls today, February 25th in the country’s 17th general election....PNP, JLP brimming with confidence in the race for the 63 parliamentary seats.

Published 2/25/15 excerpted from Jamaica Observer
JAMAICANS head to the polls today in the country’s 17th general election since universal adult suffrage when citizens won the right to vote for the first time in 1944 while the country was still under colonial rule.
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Portia and Andrew
Political pundits, using recent opinion polls, believe the election will go down to the wire in the race for the 63 parliamentary seats. However, the two major political parties — the People’s National Party (PNP), which has campaigned under the slogan ‘Step Up the Progress’, and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which has promising voters to move them from ‘Poverty to Prosperity’ — were, up to last night, brimming with confidence that they will take home the election.
While people will go out to vote for their respective candidates, several say their vote will be for the leader of the parties, the PNP’s 70-year-old Portia Simpson Miller and Andrew Holness, the 43-year-old leader of the JLP.
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Campaigning time
Yesterday, there was a frenzy of activity at PNP headquarters on Old Hope Road and the JLP headquarters on Belmont Road, both in Kingston, as the parties made final preparations for today’s vote. The PNP’s car park was full as workers and technocrats had last-minute discussions, including the placement of their ‘victory stage’, which will have a special entrance for the party president and prime minister, Simpson Miller. The media were also shown the areas from which they will operate, while a large screen will be placed near the stage area where supporters can follow the box-by-box count. That section of Old Hope Road will be blocked off to vehicular traffic.
While there were not as many vehicles inside the JLP’s car park, last-minute organisational work was being carried out. The party’s leadership and candidates, a spokesman said, were all out ‘in the field’ making sure they had everything properly organised. “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes,” the spokesman said.
The JLP, which believes it put in all the work to convince voters to hand it the reins of power, was also setting up a victory, stage just before a huge green bell in the parking lot.
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Voters on the march
“The massive swing indicated by the polls is pointing to a JLP victory and we are very confident of victory,” said a JLP spokesman. He pointed out that the party is taking nothing for granted as it is a ‘two-horse’ race. The JLP is also hoping to have Belmont Road blocked off to vehicular traffic to accommodate supporters.
Despite the confidence by the two major political parties, and the poll numbers, the election will today come down to mobilisation on the ground, especially in the approximately 14 marginal seats, where the competition is expected to be tough. more

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