The general election for the Legislative Council was held on Tuesday, 15 December 1970.
The seven members of the Legislative Council were elected in single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting.
In November 1970, Percival Austin Bramble, leader of the opposition PĐP (and the son of former Chief Minister William Henry Bramble), was relieved of his post as Minister of Social Services after he had made a strong attack on the Chief Minister. Shortly afterwards, the Chief Minister advised the Administrator to dissolve the Legislative Council and new elections were scheduled for 15 December 1970.
PDP leader Percival Austin Bramble had previously been a member of the MLP and was elected to the Legislative Council as an MLP candidate in the 1966 elections. However, he subsequently broke away to form the PDP due to controversy over the number of holiday and retirement homes being built on the island.
Political Parties & Candidates
Sixteen candidates contested the elections; both the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Montserrat Labour Party (MLP) nominated candidates for all seven seats, with two independents also running
The elections were the first occasion on which the MLP faced serious opposition. The Chief Minister accused his son of '’publicly degrading the Government’s policies" and trying "to malign his Cabinet colleagues", while the former minister charged his father with "failing judgement and action on his own in a dictatorial manner".
The PDP urged the electorate to hand over the management of the Territory to a younger administration, while the MLP called for the retention of experienced leadership. In a ten-point manifesto, the PDP proposed, intercalia, the establishment of a new accounts committee, provision of free lunches to needy children in primary schools, a government information service and full employment for all Montserratians. The MLP manifesto called, inter alia, for continuity of the Government’s policies and improvement of services in the Territory. It also opposed any change in the status of the Territory. Both parties agreed on the need for continued efforts to encourage foreign investments.
The election was dominated by the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) led by Percival Austin Bramble, winning all seven of the seats in the Legislative Council. The Montserrat Labour Party (MLP), which had won every election since the introduction of universal suffrage in 1951, lost all four of its seats.
Voter turnout was 80.0% of the 5,030 registered voters.
Percival Austin Bramble, son of former Chief Minister William Henry Bramble became the new Chief Minister. The government included the appointment of John Osborne as Minister of Agriculture.