Published On: Fri, Nov 10th, 2023

Analysis: Electoral Strategies and the Significance of a Full Slate

By Terrance Rey

The analysis of the 2020 elections in St. Maarten sheds light on a crucial aspect of electoral dynamics: the impact of the number of candidates on a party’s overall performance. The proposition suggests that entering elections with a full slate of candidates, in this case, 23, significantly influences the distribution of votes and potentially secures a broader base of support for political parties.

The central argument is that while the top five candidates usually secure around 65 percent of the votes, the remaining 35 percent, obtained by candidates further down the list, can make a substantial difference. This analysis is exemplified through various parties, such as the United People’s Party (UP), the United St. Maarten Party (USp), and the Party for Progress (PFP), among others.

For instance, the UP won 3,238 votes in 2020, with the top five candidates securing 65.4 percent, leaving 34.6 percent for the other candidates. This remaining percentage translated to 1,119 votes, showcasing the potential impact of a fuller slate. Similar trends were observed in the USP and PFP, reinforcing the notion that a larger pool of candidates can capture a more diverse range of voter support.

Contrastingly, parties with fewer candidates, like the Party for Progress, who went to war with only eight candidates, secured a higher percentage of votes for the top five (87.6 percent). However, the analysis suggests that this strategy might limit the party’s overall support and diversity.

Looking ahead to the upcoming elections, the article underscores the changed dynamics, particularly for the UP, which has seen significant departures. The departure of key figures, including Grisha Heyliger-Marten, Ludmila de Weever, Luc Mercelina, and Kevin Maingrette, necessitates a strategic recalibration for the party. The Democratic Party (DP), on the other hand, is poised to run with a full slate of candidates, further emphasizing the significance of a comprehensive candidate lineup.

While the article touches on potential challenges for the UP, it introduces an intriguing element with the addition of Mark Mingo, described as the party’s new star-member. The article posits that Mingo could potentially play a crucial role in maintaining the UP’s significance in the political landscape.

This analysis highlights the strategic importance of presenting a full slate of candidates, as it can potentially maximize a party’s reach, secure diverse voter support, and navigate unexpected changes within the political landscape. The true impact of these strategies will only become clear with the publication of the lists of candidates, setting the stage for an intriguing electoral season.


Related article: It pays to go into elections with the maximum number of candidates