‘Loretta more popular than party leader’

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis and Loretta Butler-Turner at the FNM rally that saw him see off her challenge to his leadership in 2014.

FNM Leader Dr Hubert Minnis and Loretta Butler-Turner at the FNM rally that saw him see off her challenge to his leadership in 2014.


Tribune Chief Reporter


FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Brent Symonette said yesterday that Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner would be a strong contender for leader of the Free National Movement at its upcoming convention, pointing to a poll that he said shows she has pulled ahead of current leader Dr Hubert Minnis in the public’s opinion.

While he admitted that the results of a national poll may not reflect the wishes of FNM delegates, Mr Symonette said it would be prudent for council members to consider the “writing on the wall” that Dr Minnis is not the favourite.

“No question,” he replied, when asked if he thought Mrs Butler-Turner should vie for the leadership post.

“I think when you look at the numbers, she is one of the highest ranking contenders. She ranks higher than Minnis in the country.

“I have to qualify that comment, that was a poll done in the Bahamas. Now the qualification, the convention of some 400 people are the ones that elect the leader, now I’m not sure how many of the poll are in the council, but if the council were truly reflective of the mood of the country, the writing would be on the wall that Dr Minnis is not the favourite.”

Mr Symonette did not reveal the source of the poll or when it was done, adding only that it was professionally conducted.

The party recently announced that it would hold a “full convention” from July 27 - 29 at the Melià resort. The decision was made after six of the FNM’s 10 MPs gave Dr Minnis an ultimatum: call an early convention or they would write to Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling to have him constitutionally removed as leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament.

Mrs Butler-Turner, one of the six, told The Tribune earlier this month she was “not sure” if she will make a bid for leader at the upcoming convention.

Mrs Butler-Turner, the FNM’s former deputy leader, lost to Dr Minnis by a resounding 3-to-1 margin at the party’s last convention in November 2014.

Yesterday, Mr Symonette maintained that there should still be a contest to Dr Minnis’ leadership in the event that Mrs Butler-Turner did not enter the race. He challenged that the environment that helped the Killarney MP retain his leadership post in 2014 had changed drastically.

“I think it’s necessary to have one,” he said. “There have been shifts in opinion of effectiveness of the leader.”

“Those statistics don’t hold today so you can’t just spout them out without any degree at looking at what’s happening today.

“Polling has been done and those figures don’t stand. The numbers have changed drastically, Loretta versus Minnis, in particular Minnis’ popularity and ability to govern. There have been scientific polls done and those numbers have changed drastically.”

He added: “So I don’t put much faith in the three-to-one argument, that’s long gone out the window.”

Mr Symonette insisted that a leadership challenge was instrumental for the growth of the organisation.

“We will move on and springboard from convention into a full blown election campaign. The PLP is incredibly unpopular and the referendum proved just how unpopular. [Deputy Prime Minister Brave] Davis and [Prime Minister Perry] Christie were unable to persuade their constituencies to accept something that they campaigned heavily for.

“In a Westminster system they would have called election the next day, it’s a vote of no confidence.”


Well_mudda_take_sic 8 years, 1 month ago

And each time Brent Symonette opens his mouth in support of LBT, her chances of succeeding Minnis become slimmer and slimmer! Brent is the last person any right minded politician should want endorsement from.

TalRussell 8 years, 1 month ago

Comrades! Who would have known that Loretta’s cult following has grown to such popularity?
I for one didn’t think her 108 leadership convention votes had suddenly beget votes?
“Johnny One Note Songster For Unseating Minnis,” Brent, wants all you reds never before included in his ‘personal’ titsy weenie polling data to now sungs out with all ya "gusto" to remove Minnis, so the Bay Street Boys can return triumphantly for the July 29, 2016 crowning of Loretta.

“Johnny One Note"


proudloudandfnm 8 years, 1 month ago

LBT has always been more popular.

FNM delegates are idiots...

sheeprunner12 8 years, 1 month ago

The FNM was probably better off with a Minnis-Turner team than what may emerge after this tumultuous Pyrrhic convention in July ......... I guess a Turner-Sands-Rollins alliance will really shake up the landscape

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