One year until Jersey's next General Election
22nd June 2021
Today, Tuesday 22 June, marks the start of a 365-day count-down to Jersey's next General Election. The four-year term of office for all 49 current States Members ends in June 2022, and there will be some significant changes to the make-up of Jersey's next elected Parliament, as well as how Islanders will be asked to vote.
Changes to the Law, voted in by the current States Assembly on 21 April, mean that the next States Assembly will:
No longer include the role of Senator (currently there are eight Senators with an Island-wide mandate).
Comprise nine, newly formed, electoral districts for the election of Deputies.
Include 37 Deputies (currently there are 29), who will each represent one of the nine electoral districts.
NB. The 12 Parish Constable roles remain unchanged, meaning there will still be 49 elected representatives in total.
The districts were devised by the States Assembly's Privileges and Procedures Committee to provide a more even distribution of constituents being represented by States Members. The districts group together parishes with lower populations and divide St Helier into three districts to reflect the size of its population. Unlike Constables, who must live in their Parish, it is not a requirement for Deputies to live within the district they represent. Details of the districts and walks can be found on Vote.je.
Walk and Tell
To help Islanders both familiarise themselves with their district and consider what, in relation to their district, they would like to see discussed at next year's hustings events, scenic walks around each district have been devised, along with a brief questionnaire. The walks, which can be accessed on Vote.je, take in many of the key landmarks in each district and Islanders are asked to share their views on their district, which will help to inform the 2022 hustings. All Islanders are encouraged to share their views via the survey link, it's not essential to complete their district walk to do so.
Event for potential candidates
The States Assembly Diversity Forum are hosting an event inspire and inform people who are interested in standing for election, getting involved with their parish, or joining community or volunteer groups. Representatives from the States, the parishes, and civic groups will be available to talk to participants about their work and how to get involved on Monday 28 June from 5:30pm until 7:30pm at the St Helier Town Hall. The event is free of charge but spaces are limited and must be booked in advance via Eventbrite.
The event is open to all but the Diversity Forum particularly hope to attract people from communities currently under-represented in the States Assembly, including (but not limited to) the Portuguese, Polish and black communities, the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities.
Further proposed changes for Election '22
In addition to the changes agreed in April, next month (20 July), the States Assembly will debate and vote on further changes that could impact the 2022 elections. These include:
Changes to the nomination process
The establishment of he Jersey Electoral Authority
Making postal voting available to all Islanders, whether on-Island for the election or not
Creating a 'none of the candidates' option on the ballot
Encouraging voter engagement
Recognising that Jersey's voter turnout has historically been much below the UK (43.4 % of those registered to vote turned out in Jersey's 2018 General Election), and many other countries, a digital and public engagement team was formed last year to focus on helping Islanders to engage with the States Assembly – Jersey's elected Parliament. The four-year strategy for the team's work can be found here.
Jenny O'Brien, Head of Digital and Public Engagement, explained "This is such an exciting and important election for Jersey. With interest in Island issues heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic, this is your chance to have your say on who represents your views. We hope that by giving Islanders the chance to share what they would like candidates to focus on in the hustings next year, we can make them as relevant as possible and help people make informed decisions on election day – 22 June 2022."
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