Free National Movement

Published 25th April, 2012

The Free National Movement or FNM was founded in 1971 as a merger of the United Bahamian Party, the first governing party of the Bahamas in 1962 and an anti-independence faction of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). It describes itself as socially liberal and economically conservative.

The party changed its name in 1979 to the Free National Democratic Movement and merged with dissidents from the Bahamian Democratic and Social Democratic Parties, was recognised as the official opposition in 1981 and reverted back to its current name.

In its first election in 1972 the party took nine seats in the 38 seat House of Assembly. That dropped to two seats in 1977 but then rose to 11 seats in 1982 and 16 seats in 1987.

In 1992 the FNM broke through and won 33 of the now 49 seat House of Assembly, forming the government under the leadership of Hubert A. Ingham. They won again in 1997, taking 35 seats in an assembly reduced to 40 seats.

The FNM then went through a period of unpopularity as well as internal problems which led to them dropping down to seven seats in 2002 and going back into opposition.

By 2007 the party had sorted out its leadership issues and Hubert A. Ingham, who had been briefly retired, was once more party leader and with 23 of the 41 seats in the House of the Assembly became prime minister once more.

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