Thursday, 20 October 2011

Jersey General Election - Results and Comment

Final Result parishes have declared so far. The last parish to declare was St Helier.

1. Sir Philip Bailhache - 17538 votes
2. Dep Ian Gorst - 15614 votes
3. Sen Francis Le Gresley - 14981 votes
4. Lyndon Farnham - 11095 votes

5. Adv Rose Colley - 8253 votes
6. Sen Freddie Cohen - 7922 votes
7. Stuart Syvret - 6402 votes
8. Mark Forskitt - 2813 votes
9. Linda Corby - 2489 votes
10. David Richardson - 1570 votes
11. Darius Pearce - 1562 votes
12. Sylvia Lagadu - 1332 votes
13. Chris Whitworth - 1296 votes

As the bookies predicted, Philip Bailhache did top the poll. How he will find the other side of the States is another matter. His predecessor, Vernon Tomes, did not live up to expectations, and managed to lose significant popularity during his term of office, so much so that although he never stood for re-election, his funeral, which had been expected to draw thousands, with standing room outside, failed to live up to expectations and was more modestly attended. It is one thing to top the polls, another to come back in three years with a record of achievement to be assessed at the bar of public opinion. In that respect, Ian Gorst and Francis Le Gresley have both done better - Ian Gorst, as a sitting Minister, particularly.

After always at the heals of Lyndon Farnham, Freddie Cohen finally fell behind Rose Colley, who is clearly an obvious contender next time around. And Stuart Syvret did surprisingly well, probably to the detriment of Mark Forskitt and Linda Corby. Syvlia Lagadu managed even to beat Chris Whitworth, showing that facile stunts with cardboard cut-outs do not go down well with the electorate. David Richardson was a rather "grey" candidate, did better than the two male idiots down the bottom, but not really making much impact either.

Mark Forskitt did surprisingly badly, probably because of a perceived over focus on green issues above domestic matters. But his time may come - some of the issues he raised, while global, are not going away. Stuart Syvret showed that he still has some pulling power.

Out go more progressive members Bob Hill, Debbie de Sousa, Paul Le Clare with the Deputies.

But also out go more establishment members Peter Hanning, Mike Jackson, Terry Le Main.

For all his past record as a young Deputy and Senator, it is not perhaps surprising that Terry Le Main failed to get elected,. His recent record has gone against him, and his age shows a man whose powers are clearly waning significantly. Age may also have been a factor in St Martin, where Bob Hill failed to get in. Although he is bright and alert, it may be that the electorate wanted someone slightly younger, although it has to be said that St Martin's doesn't go for youngsters.

Jackie Hilton got back in - again topping the poll - alongside Andrew Green and Mike Higgins, with newcomer Richard Rondel doing well. The retirement of Ben Fox meant that all three sitting Deputies could get in, with a space for one more, so Mike Higgins retained his seat. Ben Fox going and Richard Rondel coming in, means a more progressive element replacing him, as can be seen from his manifesto (on farm shops and GST).

New entrants in town James Baker and Rod Bryans mean that Debbie de Sousa and Paul Le Claire are out. But elsewhere, the left wing has managed to retain seats Trevor Pitman, Shona Pitman, Judy Martin and Geoff Southern all back in. Let's hope Bryans manages to bring some consensus and communication to the House - he never said if he managed that with his parents who were politically left and right!

St Saviours saw little change in the Deputies - Roy Le Hérissier, Jeremy Macon, Tracey Valois, Rob Duhamel and Kevin Lewis, but Constable Peter Hanning is out, toppled by Sadie Rennard. A beautiful Jersey result!

Grouville saw no change, with Carolyn Labey back in.

In St Brelade, there was a sea-change as Steve Pallett toppled Mike Jackson, showing perhaps, as Alastair Layzell found out when Deputy and President of Home Affairs, that in a Parish as large as St Brelade - like that of St Helier - a Constable should not perhaps be Minister as well, because there is too much to do in the Parish, and if that is neglected, you will not get re-election. Mike has done some very good stuff at TTS, unlike the previous incumbent, the disasterous Guy de Faye, in double decker buses, economic lighting for the Avenue cycle track, recycling, but he has been too distant from Parish matters, as seen by the disconnect over the black gravestone.

But in St Lawrence, Deidre Mezbourian beat off newcomer James Le Feuvre, showing that family connections are not enough along to ensure victory.

Patrick Ryan got in easily in St John, and Andrew Lewis failed, showing perhaps that the electorate have a better memory than he had hoped for his last term of office as Home Affairs Minister, and the very questionable suspension of Graham Power.

St Clement saw newcomer Susie Pinel alongside Gerard Baudains, with a terrible showing for Ann Dupre, showing how a failure to live up to manifesto promises may not be easily forgiven. The St Clement's gadfly is back as Deputy!

The same scenario played out in St Brelade where Angela Jeune came last, and newcomer John Young swept in. The gap between candidates was more evenly stepped, however, unlike parishes like St John or St Clement or St Ouen, where the gap between elected and failed was large, so that failed candidates Margaret Holland Prior and Jeff Hathaway still polled a decent vote.

James Reed surprising did extremely well in St Ouen, despite his controversial time as Education Minister, beating his rivals by a large margin. If he had faced just one opponent, he might have had a fight on his hands, but his rivals pulled the anti-Reed vote apart - a problem endemic to First Past the Post.

There were also "all new elections" - no sitting members of the States involved.

Michael Paddock as Constable in St Ouen, Kristina Moore as Deputy in St Peter, and John Le Bailley as Deputy for St Mary.

And finally, my home district - St Brelade No 2 produced no change, with a repeat of the order of two years ago - Sean Power, Montfort Tadier and once more failing to get in - Mervyn Le Masurier. Ah well, at least he has more time for golf!

And my own "guestimation" - I didn't see Philip Bailhache doing quite so well, or Mark Forskitt doing so badly, but if you look down at the last posting, I didn't do so badly after all.

And something to ponder. As the BBC academic pundit, Adrian Lee noted, this is NOT a general election because 6 Senators were not up for election, including Treasury and Economic Development Ministers, so while the economy played a part, as he pointed out, there was no opportunity to vote in judgement on the direction taken by the Council of Ministers. He also noted that twice now, we have had a Chief Minister who had not had to face the electorate before their appointment, and again had left the States leaving no possibility of the electorate passing judgement on their performance. The next election WILL BE a general election, with ALL candidates standing.


Anonymous said...

Mark did badly because of 2 things.

1/ He talked politics and policies He should have just smiled nicely and got his name everywhere.

2/ He openly disagreed with Sir Bailhache, the untouchable.

MikeA said...

Tony, I dont follow your statement "Stuart Syvret did surprisingly well, probably to the detriment of Mark Forskitt and Linda Corby".. this argument only holds true if there was one vote to be shared amongst the candidates.. there was little to stop voters putting an 'X' for all three if they wanted to and its unlikely that anyone wanting to vote for Syvret would have used up their other votes on the top four!
Yeah, its a shame that Mark did so poorly as he talked some sense, but I think the electorate was looking for a message of hope at this time, not warnings about the future. Maybe next time..

Anonymous said...

It is frightening that Mark was almost the only one to offer analysis and solutions. The voters just keep taking the political valium of voting the nice smile and big posters ignoring the facts and policies.

James said...

His predecessor, Vernon Tomes, did not live up to expectations, and managed to lose significant popularity during his term of office.

But Tomes never had his brother to act as Speaker of the house.

Anonymous said...

You do a great blog and I can't believe I am going to say this but it is a real annoyance to me lately. Lose is spelt Lose, not Loose no matter what context you use it in. I wish people would spell that word correctly, maybe its an Americanism that has slipped in.

Sorry about that but it really is getting on my nerves how it is spelt wrong all the time!

TonyTheProf said...

Dear anonymous. I was scribbling madly away between 5.30 and 6.00 am this morning, after going to bed around 12.30. So please excuse the odd typo, as I didn't have time to wholly proof read it before getting up, shower, shave, breakfast and leaving for work at 6.50 am. I've now corrected it, and a few other errors I spotted.

Austin Goodgies Google Budgie said...

I met an old school left winger last night. She told me that Mark Forskitt was an intelligent man who spoke well and deserved a Senatorial position. She went onto say that she would not vote for him until he cut his hair. Clearly she knows the Jersay electorate.

Salon Figaro on St. Saviours road offer excellent rates.

No better haircut then a Sciliian haircut.

Anonymous said...

I think it was a huge anti-syvret vote by the sheeple who simply voted as directed by the JEP.

Syvret got a lot of votes, but the two people he identified as worth voting for: Forskitt and Pearce did not see much benefit, I think you're right here whilst they were far and away the most knowledgeable (Pearce even corrected Bailhache on law at St Lawrence) they weren't really playing to the crowd.

Richardson did well in the Country but panned in the town.

Whitworth being backed by the union did not seem to benefit either.

Time for progressives to work together though.

I would have preferred to see Southern out and de Sousa stay in, might have made it easier to get things co-ordinated.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony for acknowledging my gripe about the lose word. I thought you probably made a typo as your blogs are well written, I was just wondering if I had missed something and the wrong spelling was becoming mainstream. Its all over the internet in newspaper articles etc. Maybe they just rely too much on the power of Microsoft Office to correct spelling and don't actually bother to read it back to themselves!!

TonyTheProf said...

When I re-read, if I spot typos, I correct them. I do like to beat the JEP sometimes and get my blog out early!