Falklands retains two constituencies
THE Referendum on Thursday evening resulted in a defeat for the concept of a single constituency with neither two thirds of the Camp nor Stanley supporting a single constituency. In Stanley 346 people voted in favour (57.7%) and 253 against and in Camp 71 (32%) voted in favour with 153 against.
The referendum had a reasonably healthy turnout with 52%, probably higher than expected bearing in mind stories circulating beforehand that many people were considering not voting.
The overall percentage was raised due to the high turnout in Camp with an 82 % turnout. 274 people were eligible to vote and 225 voted. In Stanley 46% of those eligible to vote did so (605 out of 1318 voters).
Voters could decide between the status quo, the Falklands retaining two constituencies, Stanley and Camp, or alternatively voting for it to become one single constituency.
Two constituency supporter and lobbyist Member of legislative Assembly Teslyn Barkman told Penguin News tonight she was relieved with the result: “The next general election is coming up fast and we need to ensure there are more people standing for Camp (and Stanley) and we are not just funneled into another of these [referendums] in a couple of years – and there are broader issues, what can we do about improving accountability – it shouldn’t just be only four years – and that people who are more representative of other backgrounds have a voice.”
MLA Roger Edwards, who lobbied for the single constituency commented: “That is why you have referendum and a democratic vote and I was absolutely delighted with the turnout in Camp and even in Stanley…. I am also delighted the referendum did take place after a long wait, it took a long time to get here… and we have clear mandate for where we are going forward and that is that we are not going for a single constituency for the term of this Assembly.”
This is the third referendum on this issue and all three have had the same result.