MONDAY, DEC. 17: Rolfe Commissiong tonight took Pembroke South despite a strong challenge from the OBA’s Jeff Baron.

Mr Commissiong took 385 votes – a 92 vote margin over his challenger in a seat regarded as safe PLP territory.

Mr Baron notched up 293 votes, with Independent Tillman Darrell on 36 and fellow Independent Leyoni Junos picking up five votes.

Mr Commissiong said afterwards: “I offer heartfelt thanks to the constituents of 21 who have once again placed their confidence in trust in the PLP and my candidacy. It’s a long journey and we have finished one part of it.”

Mr Commissiong said boundary changes in Constituency 21 had hit his vote – and said he felt that the Independent votes would have gone to him if they had not stood.

He added: “I thought 400 votes a winning margin and we got pretty close. It was a good clean race and I’m happy about the result.”

A dejected Mr Baron said: “I’m disappointed, but I have congratulated Rolfe Commmissiong and I thought it was a good fight.

“I told him that I’m going to hold him to his promises of working hard for the people of Pembroke South East. They are beautiful, they are smart, very, very decent people and I’ve made a lot of good friends over the last eight months.

“I’m going to continue to be in touch with them and do all I can to ensure they are taken care of.”

Mr Darrell was not at the count – but Ms Junos said: “It was expected – to me it’s indicative of the party system. If I had been the party candidate, I would have been victorious because people vote along party lines.

“It doesn’t indicate the best person for the job at all.”

There were a total of 730 votes cast, with 11 spoilt ballot papers. Ashfield DeVent, who lost a primary contest to Mr Commissiong, took 526 votes to 252 for Mr Darrell, who contested the seat for the former UBP in 2007.