Delimitation of Electoral Districts or Constituencies

The delimitation of electoral districts or constituencies is influenced by the growth and shifts in the population. It is conducted in accordance with Section 72 and the Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the case of Parliamentary Elections. In regard to elections at the level of the Municipal Corporations and that of the Tobago House of Assembly, the legal instruments by which the Commission is guided are the Elections and Boundaries Commission (Local Government) Act Ch. 25:50 (Act No. 18 of 1967), the Municipal Corporations Act 1990 (Act No. 37 of 1980) and their amendments.

The Commission is obliged to submit reports to Parliament on its recommendations in respect of the number of electoral districts and the descriptions of the boundaries of each district defined for Parliamentary, Local Government and Tobago House of Assembly elections.

These reports and their frequency are as follows:-

  1. Parliamentary Elections: Not less than two years nor more than five years after the last report was submitted.
  2. Local Government (Municipal) Elections: Not less than two years nor more than three years after the last report was submitted.
  3. Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Elections: Not less than two years nor more than four years after the last report was submitted.

Parliamentary Electoral Districts

For the purposes of Parliamentary elections, the country is divided into 41 electoral districts or constituencies: thirty nine (39) in Trinidad and two (2) in Tobago. With respect to the delimitation of constituencies the Constitution provides as follows: “In Trinidad and in Tobago, respectively, the electorate in any constituency shall not be more than one hundred and ten percent nor be less than ninety percent of the total electorate of the island divided by the number of constituencies in that island.”

The forty-one (41) Parliamentary Electoral Districts are:

Trinidad:

  1. Arima
  2. Arouca/Maloney
  3. Barataria/San Juan
  4. Caroni Central
  5. Caroni East
  6. Chaguanas East
  7. Chaguanas West
  8. Couva North
  9. Couva South
  10. Cumuto/Manzan1lla
  11. D’abadie/O’meara
  12. Diego Martin Central
  13. Diego Martin North/East
  14. Diego Martin West
  15. Fyzabad
  16. La Brea
  17. La Horquetta/Talparo
  18. Laventille East/Morvant
  19. Laventille West
  20. Lopinot/Bon Air West
  21. Mayaro
  22. Moruga/Tableland
  23. Naparima
  24. Oropouche East
  25. Oropouche West
  26. Point Fortin
  27. Pointe-A-Pierre
  28. Port-Of-Spain North/St. Ann’s West
  29. Port-Of-Spain South
  30. Princes Town
  31. San Fernando East
  32. San Fernando West
  33. Siparia
  34. Ann’s East
  35. Augustine
  36. Joseph
  37. Tabaquite
  38. Toco/Sangre Grande
  39. Tunapuna

Tobago:

  1. Tobago East
  2. Tobago West

View Interactive Parliamentary District Map

 

Local Government Elections in Trinidad

For the purposes of local government, Trinidad is at present divided into (a) Municipal Corporation Electoral Areas and (b) Regional Municipal Corporation Electoral Areas. Five (5) cities and boroughs are comprised in the former, and nine (9) regional municipalities in the latter.

The names of these electoral areas and the number of electoral districts in each are provided in the following tabulation.

Municipal Corporation Electoral Areas

Cities and Boroughs

City of Port-of-Spain – 12 Electoral Districts
City of San Fernando – 9 Electoral Districts
Borough of Arima – 7 Electoral Districts
Borough of Point Fortin – 6 Electoral Districts
Borough of Chaguanas – 8 Electoral Districts

 

Regional Municipal Corporation Electoral Areas

Regional Municipalities

Region of Couva/ Tabaquite/Talparo – 13 Electoral Districts
Region of Diego Martin – 9 Electoral Districts
Region of Mayaro/Rio Claro – 6 Electoral Districts
Region of Penal/Debe – 9 Electoral Districts
Region of Princes Town – 9 Electoral Districts
Region of Sangre Grande – 8 Electoral Districts
Region of San Juan/Laventille – 12 Electoral Districts
Region of Siparia – 9 Electoral Districts
Region of Tunapuna/Piarco – 14 Electoral Districts

 

The legislation governing local government in Trinidad comprises the Municipal Corporations Act, Act 21 of 1990: Chap 25:04 and the Elections and Boundaries Commission (Local Government) Act, Chap. 25:50 op.cit.

The second schedule of Chap. 25: 50 prescribes the rules to be followed in reviewing the number and boundaries of the electoral districts into which an electoral area is divided in order to give effect to rules in the said schedule.

According to Rule 4 of this schedule, the number of electors in an electoral district of the electoral areas of cities and boroughs “… shall be the number obtained by dividing the number of electors in the relevant electoral area by the number of electoral districts in that area, but the Commission in consideration of topographical factors vary such number, subject to the proviso, that in no case shall the number of electors in any one electoral district of an electoral area exceed or be less than the number of electors in any other electoral district of that electoral area by more than twenty-five percent.”

The number of electoral districts in an electoral area of a regional municipality is determined as follows:

“There shall be in every electoral area a basic number of four electoral districts. To this basic number shall be added the number obtained by dividing the electorate of the electoral area by 15,000; but where in any electoral area the electorate is-

  1. less than 15,000, there shall be five electoral districts;
  2. more than 15,000, any residual number left after dividing the total electorate by 15,000 shall be treated as if that number were 15,000 and one electoral district shall be added in respect of such residual number.”

In the division of the electoral districts of the electoral areas of regional municipalities “…natural boundaries such as major highways and rivers shall be used wherever possible.”

View Detailed Map

Electoral Districts in the Electoral Area of Tobago in relation to Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Elections

Section 141 A (1) of Chapter 11 A of the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago states “There shall be an Assembly for Tobago to be called “the Tobago House of Assembly”…” The relevant enabling legislation is Act No. 37 of 1980, its purpose being to make “…better provision for the administration of the Island of Tobago and the matters connected therewith.” The Assembly is a body corporate consisting of twelve (12) elected members called Assemblymen and three (3) Councillors.

For the purposes of the Tobago House of Assembly Elections the relevant legislative provision is Section 4 of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (Local Government) Act, Chap. 25:50 op.cit, as amended by the Elections and Boundaries Commission (Local Government and Tobago House of Assembly) (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2008 : Act 27 of 2008. Thereby, Tobago is divided into twelve electoral districts. In delimiting electoral districts the number of electors in any such district may be varied “…provided that in no case shall the number of electors in any one electoral district of an electoral area exceed or be less than the number of electors in any other electoral district of that electoral area by more than twenty-five percent.”

The twelve (12) Electoral Districts are:

  1. Bacolet/Mount. St. George
  2. Belle Garden/Goodwood
  3. Bethel/Mt. Irvine
  4. Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden
  5. Buccoo/Mount Pleasant
  6. Canaan/Bon Accord
  7. Lambeau/Signal Hill
  8. Parlatuvier/ L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside
  9. Plymouth/Golden Lane
  10. Providence/ Mason Hall/Moriah
  11. Roxborough/Delaford
  12. Scarborough/ Calder Hall

View Detailed Map

Submission of Reports to Parliament

As stated previously the Commission is mandated by law to submit reports on the review of the boundaries for Parliamentary, Local Government, and Tobago House of Assembly elections within certain specified periods. Such Parliamentary reports are by law required to be submitted to the Prime Minister and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and, in respect of Local Government and Tobago House of Assembly elections, to the Minister responsible for Local Government.

Soon after such a report is submitted, the relevant Minister “…lays before the House of Representatives for its approval the draft of an Order by the President for giving effect, whether with or without modification, to the recommendations contained in the report….”