Turnout among the 1,139 registered voters in the constituency — a PLP stronghold — was 52 per cent, election officials said.
It was fourth time lucky for Tyrrell, 67, a former president of the Bermuda Football Association, who had made three unsuccessful attempts to win a House of Assembly seat in another constituency, Devonshire East, going back to 2003.
neville-tyrellTyrrell polled 477 votes on Tuesday, while former prison officer Robyn Swan, 36, of the ruling One Bermuda Alliance (OBA), came in a distant second with 103 votes. David William Burch, 71, who ran as an independent, picked up just 12 votes but vowed to carry on.
Tyrrell, who admitted to waking up during the night and not being able to get back to sleep, told the media after his victory was confirmed “this is really a victory for the Progressive Labour Party. Not for Neville Tyrrell, for the Progressive Labour Party.
“We did our work. This is really an early Christmas present for me.”
Burch, who also ran unsuccessfully as an independent in Warwick West in 1993 and in Warwick South East in 2012, said afterwards”I can’t stop. Until they stop with party politics, I’m in the game.”
Tuesday’s by-election was called following the retirement last month of former Opposition Leader Marc Bean, who had been on medical leave since suffering a stroke nine months ago.
Tyrrell increased the PLP’s lead in the constituency, as he took 79 per cent of the vote, up from the 64 per cent enjoyed by Bean at the 2012 general election.
Speaking earlier in the day, Tyrrell told reporters: “I was so nervous, I woke up at 3.30am. I could not sleep after that but I’m feeling good standing here right now.”
It was the third successive victory by the PLP in a by-election since it was ousted from power by the OBA in the 2012 general election. All three by-elections were caused by the retirement of incumbents.
The OBA squeaked in by two seats — 19 to 17 — four years ago but had its wafer-thin majority reduced earlier this year when former Tourism and Transport Minister Shawn Crockwell quit the party over his disenchantment with the way Premier Michael Dunkley is running the country. Crockwell now sits in the House as an independent.
Bean, 42, had led the PLP since the last election when former Premier Paula Cox lost her seat in the House. He has been succeeded as Opposition Leader by David Burt.
The next general election in this British Overseas Territory is due at the end of 2017.
- Countries: Bermuda
- BERMUDANS go to the polls on October 1
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