IN THE run up to the General Election in Gibraltar, due to be held on November 26, the main political parties have been holding press conferences and appearing on TV in an effort to persuade the approximately 26,500 potential voters in Gibraltar to visit the polling stations and cast their votes.
Gibraltar has a slightly unusual system whereby each registered voter may cast up to 10 votes, often all for representatives of the same political party and the party that obtains the greatest number of seats forms the government. In the case of the last election, where there was an 81.4 percent turnout, the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party (GSLP) received just 34 percent of the total vote and seven seats whilst the Social Democrats (GSD) received almost 47 percent of the vote and also seven seats.
The Liberal Party (GLP) however held the balance of power with 14.6 per cent of the vote and three seats. A coalition was therefore formed between the Socialists and the Liberal Party and Fabian Picardo was named Chief Minister.
There has been some animosity recorded between Mr Picardo and Daniel Feetham (whose father served in an earlier Socialist government) leader of the Social Democrats and the GSLP has been using the opportunity to issue government press releases to promote their achievements whilst in power and criticising the opposition.
The GLP will be standing alongside the GSLP on a combined platform against the GSD and the latest opinion polls are in agreement with one from the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation forecasting a ‘walkover’ for the GSLP/GLP coalition winning 67 per cent of the votes whilst one from the local daily newspaper the Gibraltar Chronicle also sees a good majority for the combined parties.
The voters however will make the final decision.