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Oh go on, let's do some more stats. No, not boring election stats. Actual ones. Look, I looked these up so we're using them, OK? First off, unemployment. All the chat about unemployment and the marvellous things that everyone's done over the last three years to sort it all out - what do you think happened over the last three years? Well, between March 2011 and March 2014, the number of unemployed people went up from 2,570 to 2,800 (as measured by the ILO unemployment rate). What about earnings in real terms over the last three years? Dipped, apparently, by about 0.2%. So that's unemployment up, and people generally a little bit poorer - but the Council of Ministers look mostly likely to be returned by big margins. No, I don't understand either.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, all the tedious numbers. What about the real issues? You've got to give it to Chris Magee - he's got the best middle name of any candidate: Lazlo. Solid. A bit Casablanca, a bit 1920s, nice ring to it. Not, sadly, the best middle name in recent political history: a title still held the majestically-monickered Daniel John Arabin Wimberley. Bravo sir.
Right, so what does coming 8th really mean in the Senatorial election? The answer: not a lot. The Island's first Chief Minister - Frank Walker, currently wowing the people like in the old days on the BBC - got the job after finishing sixth and claiming the last Senatorial seat in 2002. And of course across the pond there's old George W. Bush - lost the popular vote against Gore, shaded the delegate count, but didn't let the lack of mandate slow him down for the next eight years. Don't think that an 8th place for Senator Ozouf would slow him down in the least...
Right. Let’s pause, reflect. So what’s the story of the election? There isn’t one. There isn’t going to be one, not really. It’s not one election, it’s 14 elections. One of the odder things about elections in Jersey is the fixation on the Senators to the exclusion of all else – you can understand it in a way, they tend to be the most high-profile, and it’s the race that we’ve all got a stake in. But it’s treated with disproportionate attention – tonight the voters of St Helier have returned ten Deputies to the States. That’s more than the number of Senators, and they’ll have equal voting rights and equal rights to lodge propositions and ask questions. It’s worth pointing out that in the last House, Deputies ended up holding the Health, Education, Transport, Environment and Housing ministries – that’s almost half the Council of Ministers that had nothing at all to do with the Senatorial poll.
Right. New plan. Remember how Chelsea rose from mid-table mediocrity to total world domination? First they signed Glenn Hoddle, that allowed us to buy Mark Hughes, then we get Ruud Gullit, and that allowed us to buy Luca Vialli - and then it was basically golden from then on out. My point is that there's a chain, right? Now, hang on, bear with me, we could be on the verge of something similar here compadres - this year its Peter Mac, three years time we get Le Saux, then... wait... is it a bird... is it a plane... NO ITS ONLY FLIPPING HENRY CAVILL THE ACTUAL FLIPPING SUPERMAN INNIT!!! BOOM!! CAVILL FOR CHIEF MINISTER IN 2024!!!!
Jackie Hilton: not so much a Deputy, more an electoral phenomenon. And a very, very good bet by someone sitting not a billion miles away from your humble scribe this evening...
So, here's a thing - the new States are going to have to find at least four new ministers. The Education, Home Affairs and Social Security ministers are all leaving the States voluntarily, while Environment Minister Rob Duhamel has been unceremoniously binned by voters in St Saviour. There's still the possibility of a minister dropping out in the Senatorial poll, but it's not clear what's going to happen. There should be a little bit of a reshuffle in the States too, because Housing Minister Andrew Green is looking for the Health gig, and Economic Development Minister Alan Maclean has made no secret of the fact that he's fed up with his role, and wants the Big Gig. No one messes with the Gorstmeister though - expect him to hang on to the top job, mostly because he is SUPERHUMAN and his AMAZING MAGICAL POWERS. It occurs having written that last bit that I'd struggle to prove some of it. Just trust me. MAGIC POWERS. Seriously.
That looks like there's a mountain to climb for Deputy John Young, Malcolm Ferey and Deputy Sean Power in the Senatorial election. The two sitting Members took a big gamble going for promotion to the Big Boys Table. Looks like it hasn't paid off. Bearing in mind the old rule that right-leaning candidates don't improve on the first Senatorial poll, that means that Senator Philip Ozouf is in the marginal zone. Do not, repeat, do not write him off. He'll pick up a few votes in St Saviour where his late father was Constable for many years, and where some others might struggle.
So, that's Grouville in - results were Bailhache, Gorst, Maclean, Green, Router, Farnham, Cameron, and Ozouf in at 8th. Reminds me of a certain UNIVERSE EXCLUSIVE SENATORIAL EXIT POLL that I vaguely recall...
First Senatorial results just coming in now compadres...
Right. Is now a good time to make the point that now we have the Second Greatest Living Jerseyman (Peter Mac) in the States, it's surely time that we kick on and go for the big one. That's right folks, I'm talking about Graeme Le Saux. He of the sweet left foot, the goal against Brazil, and the funny story about Gianfranco Zola (honestly, if you meet him, do ask, it's a cracker). If we can get the Great Peter Mac in the States, surely we can manage Le Saux? And wouldn't it be an idea to resurrect the old Jersey v. Guernsey States Members footie match not long afterwards?
SERIOUSLY WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THE EDITOR OF THE JERSEY EVENING POST? USE YOUR MYSTERIOUS POWERS TO MAGIC ME UP A CORNISH PASTY O GREAT ONE!! I BESEECH THEE!!!
From an efficiency point of view, let’s take a moment and accept that this election might actually save us all a little bit of money. Bear with me here, but there’s some logic to it. A States Chamber minus Rob Duhamel, Gerard Baudains and Nick Le Cornu isn’t just (arguably) a better one, it’s also going to cut down the length of a typical debate by around 20%. Still, at least Deputy Baudains still has his blog, so there’s that.
Stop the bus. If the Editor of the Jersey Evening Post can rig elections in St Helier No 1 (per Nick Le Cornu) then isn’t it time we beg this all-powerful genius to use his powers more proactively? GODDAMMIT MAN what about Ebola? Global warming? Cold fusion? We beseech you, O Great One, use your powers for the good of us all, don’t meddle with minor elections in Havre des Pas?
Did anyone just hear some shouting at Les Quennevais when the last couple of results were announced?
St Peter returns sitting Deputy Kristina Moore - she polls a massive 1335 compared to just 200 for Reform Jersey challenger Debbie Hardisty
Longest serving Deputy, and Environment Minister Rob Duhamel is ousted from the States. Jeremy Macon polled 780 and Peter Mclinton 656, with former Deputy Duhamel securing 630.
Health Minister returned in Trinity, Anne Pryke polled 624 votes, narrowly beating newcomer Hugh Raymond on 608.
It was a close shave for St Mary Constable Juliette Gallichan, who held on to her seat by just six votes after the parish Deputy John Le Bailly challenged her for the seat.
Mrs Gallichan – herself a former Deputy in the parish – polled 376 votes, compared to 370 by her opposite number. A recount had been ordered because the margin between the seats was smaller than 1% of the total.
The talk in the parish had been that the two politicians had fallen out, leading to the unusual situation of a parish Deputy challenging the Constable.
The result was announced at 9.15 pm.
Three sitting deputies returned in St Helier number 2: Rod Bryans 685, Sam Mezec 605 and Geoff Southern 566.
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