Ready for business: MP Michael Scott and Dame Jennifer Smith arrive for the PLP conference at the Devonshire Recreation Club. They ignored the media and headed straight into the building shortly before 5:30pm this afternoon. *Photo by Sirkka Huish
Ready for business: MP Michael Scott and Dame Jennifer Smith arrive for the PLP conference at the Devonshire Recreation Club. They ignored the media and headed straight into the building shortly before 5:30pm this afternoon. *Photo by Sirkka Huish

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010: All three Premier contenders were oozing with confidence as they arrived at the PLP conference this evening.

Paula Cox, Dale Butler and Terry Lister are battling it out to become the next party leader and Premier of Bermuda.

First to arrive at Devonshire Recreation Club was Deputy Premier Paula Cox, who is the strong favourite to win. She pulled up in the passenger seat of a silver taxi sporting a huge smile.

She looked quietly confident and stopped to talk to the media.

Ms Cox said she “doesn’t take anything for granted” so she would wait to see what happened.

She said: “I blaze my own trail. First things first — let’s wait to see if I’m elected, then there will be plenty of time to talk.”

Ms Cox was wearing a long blue dress, matching shoes and a splash of PLP colour with a green and yellow scarf on her shoulder.

Next up was Dale Butler who pulled up on his bike at about 5:25pm. He ignored the parking spot that had been reserved for him and parked in front of the bar.

Dressed in a black suit, he fixed his bright red tie, combed his hair, then strolled towards the waiting media, stopping to shake the hands of supporters on the way.

Mr. Butler donned a sailor’s hat and declared: “I feel great, I’m the captain of the ship.” He then instructed photographers to “catch him with his hat on”.

Mr. Butler said: “I hope to win as I’ve worked very hard. But I will support whoever is elected.”

Mr. Butler was heard asking “Is Terry here yet?” and just as he said those words Terry Lister arrived.

Mr. Lister drove himself and his wife to Devonshire Rec in his blue Mitsubishi car. He said he “felt good” and was dressed in a grey pin-striped suit with a green shirt and a green paisley tie.

Mr. Lister said: “I’m confident I will win. I’ve spent a lot of time [on this campaign] and have had help from a tremendous team.

“I expect to be successful, I expect to become leader, that’s the reality.”

Mr. Lister then shook hands with Mr. Butler and they walked inside like old friends.

Each of the candidates will make a ten-minute speech before the secret ballot takes place.

It is estimated that there will be 166 voters, including delegates nominated at branch level, MPs and the party executive.

The result is not expected before 10pm.