Thursday, 6 March 2014

Election results

Nick Le Cornu and Sam Mezec have both been elected on a strong reform platform.

Political analyst Adrian Lee said: "Both candidates were explicit about where they stood. It is often said the electorate are fed up with talk of reform, but these candidates put packages together that linked constitutional reform with social reform. Looking at it from the outside, both put together a rather successful package using a mixture of traditional campaigning and digital media."

District 1

Nick Le Cornu 248
Gordon Forrest 201
Paul Le Clare 178
Roy Travert 70
Maureen Morgan 51
Turnout 15.3%

Pretty evenly distributed at the top, then a big gap. 47 between Nick and Gordon, and only 23 below that for Paul Le Clare. And then a big drop.

Low turnout bi-elections with one candidate are tricky things, and I think as well as Nick, the other two may well come back in October. If Paul doesn't get in October, though, he should give up. Mea culpa - I got this one wrong - I'd put Paul Le Clare where Nick was and vice versa. I goofed there! On the rest, I was right.

Although Gordon didn't make it, on canvassing, he went out and about like Nick, and put in a good deal of hard work; in fact, they saw each other a few times while out! Given that level of determination, I'd be surprised if he didn't try again.

Roy Travert didn't do very well and he's tried several times before. I suggest he gives up as well. There is a large gap between Paul Le Clare and Roy. He's just never going to make it. But he will probably try again.

Maureen's vote as a newbie was lowest, and not unexpected. I do think the lack of posters did not help, and I do not really think it is a big enough vote for her to contemplate standing again. Still, someone has to come last, and Gino Risoli messed up his nomination so was not standing. A silver lining in this election!

Well done, by the way to Nick Le Cornu for pointing out just after the election that his vote is well under half the votes cast, and making a play for Single Transferable Voting. It's about time we got electronic voting (even if at first at polling stations) which would make the calculations for STV simple.

Listening to the States debate on that, a few weeks back, I was struck by how low a view some politicians have of the intelligence of the general public. "They won't understand it". Translation: "I won't be elected".

District 2

Sam Mezec 277
Ian Philpot 99
Bernard Manning 87
Paul Huelin 65
Turnout 14%

This district was very different, with a large lead by Sam, streets ahead of the other candidates. Even with a low turnout, that bodes well for October (if he does well in the States). Ian Philpot was as I predicted second place, but Bernie Manning did surprisingly better than Paul Huelin. I'm pleased with that, but I don't think it is high enough to warrant standing again.

As for Paul, a lack lustre campaign, not much visible presence, and I'm not surprised, although I'd put him third and not fourth. Unless he changes his campaign strategy, I don't think it is worth him bothering in October.

I managed to get round to Springfield, and grabbed a manifesto off Sam and Bernie. It was interesting seeing the "election body language".  Sam had Geoff Southern with him, Bernie had one other person, and they were standing close together. Ian Philpot and Paul Huelin were standing close together, but at a distance from the others. Ian had as far as I could see, no other supporter, while Paul Huelin had about half a dozen, a distinctly "heavy mob" appearance!

Although I've not supported him, Bernie was very friendly, while I got a distinctive feeling of cold shoulder from the Huelin camp. He may have been disgruntled because he had to remove a poster in a car which was too close to Springfield (in the car park at the rear), and which apparently broke the rules.

BBC Radio Jersey had an interesting panel, with Geoff Southern, Richard Rondel, and everyone's favourite political guru, Adrian Lee. Unfortunately it also had a semi-deranged individual, who was allowed to ramble on for five minutes, spouting all kinds of nonsense on figures, and not making any kind of sense at all. Gems like - if you have 5,000 people who can vote, and five candidates, that is around 1,000 votes each. And at one point, he didn't even know how many people were standing in District 2. I turned off while my brain was still working; I'd sooner listen to Alan Maclean doing his smooth Jim Hacker impersonations, because at least he is a consummate professional at the noble art of sounding good and saying nothing.

The turnout was extremely low, even given fine weather, but just wait to see the Procureur's election in St Brelade next week. And at around 14% I believe in district number 2, it still compares favourably with Constables elections in St Peter Port, where 5% or less is the order of the day.

Philip Ozouf pointed out on Twitter that those who voted against the Referendum result in the States because of low turnout were quite happy for the vote to be legitimate here despite a lower turnout. A fair comment, but it is a bit like apples and pears. Voting for a politician is a temporary measure; elections come and they can be voted out. A constitutional change usually requires a higher turnout because it is by and large irreversible, which is why Jeremy Macon was right to want a threshold for acceptance.

Some blame for the low turnout was given (without any solid evidence apart from a few anecdotes) on the Referendum failure, but historically bi-elections (especially in election year) do not attract general election turnouts, either here or in the UK. That has not really been considered.

Most amusing thing - a dog sporting a Vote Sam Mezec rosette. Something to make passers by pause for thought. (I make no apology for that terrible pun).

1 comment:

Sam Mézec said...

"Listening to the States debate on that, a few weeks back, I was struck by how low a view some politicians have of the intelligence of the general public. "They won't understand it". Translation: "I won't be elected"."

Well said Tony!