Ladies and Gentlemen, First – thank the Returning Officer and his staff. Thank you to all the Civil Servants and Publc Servants of Gibraltar who have been involved in the events of today and in the Count.
Thank you also to the Royal Gibraltar Police for ensuing the safe and secure passing of this day of democracy.
We have held, as usual, an election which would be an example to any other jurisdiction in the world.
We have had the usual reports of people not registered.
We have had unusual reports this year also of people who are registered but who have been told they had already voted.
These are only literally a handful of cases. These problems are statistically irrelevant.
But at a human and at a democratic level, they are hugely important.
I have no doubt that the Returning Officer will consider what has happened in these very few cases.
And I have no doubt that our Parliament will ensure these instances will not happen again.
Today I have to reflect on the magnificent work of everyone in the political party that I represent.
The GSLP’s activists are often referred to as a well oiled machine.
The best political machine in Gibraltar’s history. And it is good.
But it is not a machine.
It's a heart.
A beating heart.
The beating heart.
That keeps our party not just alive but thriving and growing.
And it needs to be nurtured and looked after throughout the lifetime of a Parliament, not just from election to election.
During this election campaign alone, we have attracted almost 500 new members.
And that when we are consolidating our existing membership.
That is to say, after two successive terms in government, we have been able to see our membership grow by just shy of 10%.
That is undoubtedly a reflection of the remarkable work being done in the party by the many activists.
It is also a reflection of the excellent work that we have done as a party with our Liberal colleagues in government.
And a reflection of the enduring appeal of our vision for the best Gibraltar we can be.
In fact, this election represents our first ever THIRD SUCCESSIVE GENERAL ELECTION WIN.
Of the last nine general elections, we have been entrusted with the responsibility of government five times.
The result of the tie break clearly reflects the reality that – my dear friends - TODAY we have smashed through the glass ceiling of two successive General election wins.
TODAY, WE ARE CONFIRMED AS THE NATURAL PARTY OF GOVERNMENT IN GIBRALTAR
I must also thank specifically our energetic social media team
Also my core team of Sam Marrache, Jesse and Selwyn.
Selwyn, erstwhile no more.
The GSLP Youth and GSLP Students Section, the Women’s Section who give up so much to keep us active and working.
And the whole Execuitive of my party as well as the executive of the Liberal Party.
Stephen Perera who has worked with me to deliver manifestos that are not just politically ambitious.
They are also visually attractive. Stephen, you are the best my friend.
Dennis Cardonna, who has been with me on this journey, from 2010 and through the transition in 2011.
Thank you my dear, dear friend.
Three out of three ain’t bad Dennis
And particular thanks to my wife Justine.
It is impossible for me to reflect how much I love her, how much I rely on her and how much I admire her.
Thank you for being the core around which my life rotates.
I am not able to do this job without her.
And thank you also to our children, who don’t yet fully understand this political nonsense, for putting up with so many moments missed through daddy’s work and Brexit and other stuff.
My fellow Gibraltarians,
This result is a demonstration that we are not in an ivory tower of government.
That we have reached out to every sector of our society to build a stronger community together.
That we are umbilically connected to our people.
This election also marks the first time that an 80 year old is elected to Parliament in Gibraltar.
And what an 80 year old.
The respect that this Community has for Sir Joe Bossano is as palpable in the Cabinet room, as it is in Parliament and as it is out on the hustings.
He has also become the first Knight of the Realm elected to Parliament since Joshua Hassan.
At an age when most are looking to do less, Sir Joe Bossano is doing more than most do in their twenties.
What an honour it is to count with his acumen, his ability and his work ethic in the Government.
Gibraltar is lucky to have Sir Joe Bossano. History will reflect just how lucky we are.
That history will be most authoritative if it is written by my political soul mate, Joseph Garcia.
What a dynamic duo we make.
Gibraltar has rightly realized what depth Joseph Garcia brings to Government.
And to all my colleagues, thank you for your work these past four years.
John, Gilbert, Neil, Samantha, Albert, Paul, Steven.
Farewell Neil. We will work together no doubt.
Welcome Vijay. Get ready to work harder than ever before as tomorrow.
Tonight you become the first Gibraltarian of Indian extraction elected as a Member of Parliament.
Later today, the first such Minister.
And to all those who we have met in the estates around Gibraltar in the past weeks, I say, remember that we do not just come round to ask for your vote.
We will also be back this weekend to say thank you; as ever.
We have respected the electorate as we must by campaigning hard in the past weeks.
We have fought for every vote.
We have taken nothing for granted.
We have taken no-one for granted.
And we have governed our nation whilst we have campaigned for our party.
We have worked harder than ever and harder than anyone. But we will never succumb to triumphalism.
To those not with us yesterday, I say this tonight:
Today we are elected as the Government of all Gibraltarians.
We will be there to work with everyone, to reach across to all, to grow our nation on all fronts and for all our people, whoever you may have identified with politically.
We have already shown that we are not closed to anyone.
We will never be.
And in that respect, I want to thank my fellow party leaders for the cleanest campaign fought in elections in recent memory.
It was right that we should have fought a contest of ideas and not a contest of personal attacks against each other.
Those who went outside the bounds of the pure debate on ideas have stood out negatively.
They have done themselves more harm than they have those of us who they sought to tarnish.
We in the GSLP Liberals have best showed our passion, our courage and our determination in our argument.
But there will never be an absence of humanity, affection or friendship in our attitude.
And in this morning we will show our genuine and human GENEROSITY in political victory.
And we will lace that generosity with great humility in this political success.
We will also look to our opponents to meet our generosity with their own generosity and maturity, not spite in defeat, as we have seen in the past.
For there must also be humility in defeat if there is to be progress and cooperation in the life time of the parliament to come.
And so tonight, I hold out my hand in friendship and in parliamentary partnership to all those who have been elected this morning.
And as we now take forward the mandate of the people as a government, we will also continue our work as a party and continue to resolve the problems of those we have met on the campaign trail.
Because we have led on and delivered more transparency than ever before, and we will deliver even more.
We have led on and delivered more equality than ever before, and we will deliver even more.
We have led on and delivered more commitment to the environment, and we will deliver even more.
And in so many policy areas in which we have already delivered, we will deliver even more.
But, undoubtedly, our main role in these coming four years will be to sail this nation of ours safely through the uncharted waters of our departure from the European Union.
We will sail our people securely through every potential variation of that process, even its potential cancellation.
We will do so by delivering our post-Brexit National Economic Plan.
We have already turbo charged our economy by securing financial services access to the United Kingdom.
In this weeks Queens speech we have secured confirmation of Gibraltar as unique in this respect.
We have already turbo charged our economy with the Double Taxation Agreement with the United Kingdom which has also been confirmed yesterday by London.
These are important developments.
Important opportunities to do business in and from Gibraltar.
We have set the foundations to ensure Gibraltar will reach a safe harbour with an enduring partnership with the UK.
A partnership well beyond colonialism.
A relationship recognised internationally as beyond colonialism.
And these will be my last four years as your Chief Minister. My FINAL FOUR.
I have arrived last at the Macintosh hall on election night for the last time
That last time I will stand before you in this place at this time in this role.
I know that in life, one must never say never. In politics, every thing is fluid.
I recognize that things might change and I might have to eat my words.
But my party knows that is my intention.
For now, we must concentrate on next Saturday in London, on the next one hundred days in Europe and on the coming challenges and not the next eight years.
And in that respect, I want to be clear with you all, as I have been on the campaign trail.
By the end of these next four years: Nothing will be the same
We are facing our greatest challenge.
The age of entitlement is over.
This morning we see the dawning of a new age of responsibility
An age also of sustainability
Because We always trust You, the people to get the right decision in an election.
You have placed your trust in us once more.
A huge vote of confidence in our work for Gibraltar to date.
A vindication that we have been right to have defended Gibraltar’s interests the way we have to date.
And we will not let you down going forward.
My dear fellow Gibraltarians, there were three parties in this General Election, each of them with difference slogans.
Lets us move forward now together as one Gibraltar;
Taking the best of the ideas in this campaign forward for the benefit of all Gibraltar.
Because we all believe in a better Gibraltar
And, in fact, Gibraltar has voted for the future you deserve A green Gibraltar
A child friendly city...
Let us together aspire to the best Gibraltar.
And we start work to deliver that best Gibraltar today.
We govern for everyone once more
Thank you for your RINGING ENDORSEMENT. Thank you for your VOTE OF CONFIDENCE. Thank you for your SUPPORT.