Monday, 10 November 2014

Post Election Blues

Post Election Blues
St Helier No 1: Possibilities
Martin, Judy – 946 (elected)
Labey, Russell – 811 (elected)
Wickenden, Scott – 476 (elected)
Kerrigan, Shannen – 355
Le Cornu, Nick – 311
Risoli, Gino – 192

Nick Le Cornu and Gino Risoli are calling for a straight re-run of all the candidates with Scott Wickenden disallowed from standing again because his nomination paper was wrong.

I don’t think this is at all fair on the other two successful candidates, who after all did provide valid nomination papers, and won fair and square. As I can see it, there are several possibilities, and that is the lowest and most unlikely.

What I think is most likely is one of two possibilities:

First, as the Town Hall was ultimately responsible for checking the nomination papers, it may be decided that the fault did not lie with Scott Wickenden, who would not have had at that time a copy of the electoral role. One once nominated – but only then - can candidates get a copy for £50 (to cover Data Protection charges). The Data Protection office, must, incidentally, make a lot out of elections!

In fact this must be well known to Gino Risoli. When he turned up at the St Helier No 1 bi-election with a blank nomination form, and asked people present if they’d like to nominate him, he was told that the nomination papers have to be checked by the Parish.

So on that basis, the law may apply discretion, and let Mr Wickenden’s election stand, as long as it is clear he did everything he could to ensure that his nominees lived in the district – and having the Town Hall check them would fall into that category. He would have also asked the nominee, but it seems they live on a road which is both in and out of the district, and had just moved, hence might well have been uncertain which district they were in.

On the other hand, the Court might decide that, regardless, Mr Wickenden’s election was null and void, and debar him from the States. This would, I venture to suggest, be like the case of the Trevor and Shona Pitman. Mr Wickenden would immediately loose his seat forthwith, and the due process of a bi-election would be called. In such an eventuality, there would be no reason why he could not stand again with a proper set of nominees, or, for that matter, others decide to stand as well.

Either way, the result that Nick le Cornu and Gino Risoli want, which would give then a better chance because of the more limited number of candidates, seems very unlikely to happen.

Referendum Fine Print
Should politicians support the views of their constituencies and represent them? A number of candidates said they would support the results of the Referendum, but does that mean Islandwide, or where they are? For the sake of clarity, in St Helier:

District 1: 679 Yes, 705 No
District 2: 579 Yes, 561 No
District 3: 818 Yes, 821 No
District 4: 464 Yes, 475 No

District 2 was the only St Helier District to support the Yes vote. Sitting Deputies there are Rod Bryans, Sam Mezec, and Geoff Southern. Do they follow the democratic mandate given to them in the Referendum? And if not, why not? Expect prevarication.

In St Brelade, Yes also gained more votes than No, where the other Reform member, Montfort Tadier, sits - so strictly speaking Reform, if they are to reflect their constituencies wishes, should let the matter of the Constables drop.

Recount Results
The recount results for the whole Senatorial elections are available on the Vote.Je website, and they demonstrate some small differences of about one vote or two, some larger ones around 20 votes. As I commented earlier, because mistakes are randomly distributed, they are not significant in ordering with such large numbers, although it is also clear that the counting process is riddled with errors. Not one vote turned out the same. Robust - no! Just fortunate in how statistical error works. And somewhere in the recount, 22 votes vanished overall!

Gorst, Ian (elected): 14,035 (original count: 14,037)
Bailhache, Philip (elected): 13,759 (original count: 13,770)
Green, Andrew (elected): 13,252 (original count: 13,240)
Maclean, Alan (elected): 11,694 (original count: 11,698)
Routier, Paul (elected): 10,962 (original count: 10,964)
Cameron, Zoe (elected): 10,413 (original count: 10,412)
Farnham, Lyndon (elected): 10,413 (original count: 10,409)
Ozouf, Philip (elected): 10,080 (original count 10,062)

Ferguson, Sarah: 9,809 (original count: 9,800)
Dooley-Power, Sean: 8,249 (original count: 8,263)
Young, John: 7,074 (original count 7,095)
Ferey, Malcolm: 6,475 (original count: 6,488)
Habin, Geoff: 5,328 (original count: 5,329)
Southern, Anne: 4,281 (original count: 4,276)
De Faye, Guy: 3,384 (original count: 3,381)
Magee, Chris: 3,158 (original count: 3,153)
Kruszynski, Konrad: 2058 (original count: 2059)
Richardson, David: 1,801 (original court: 1,811)

Total number of votes: 146,225 (original count: 146,247)

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