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ELECTION ENGAGEMENT: Is Jersey still the worst in the world?

ELECTION ENGAGEMENT: Is Jersey still the worst in the world?

Monday 27 June 2022

ELECTION ENGAGEMENT: Is Jersey still the worst in the world?

Monday 27 June 2022

The total number of islanders who registered to vote in time for this year’s election was over 60,000.

But did they all use their vote?

Registered voters

In 2018's election, 62,123 people were registered to vote ahead of the election.

This means that in the 2022 election there was a slight drop in the number of people registered to vote compared to 2018, though the team suggested that this reflects the reduction in population size.


CLICK TO ENLARGE: A lower percentage of the population voted in 2022, compared to 2018. 

In 2018, the estimated population was 106,800, compared to 103,267 residents recorded in the 2021 Census.  

Parish turnout

The Parish with the highest percentage of registered voters per population was St. Mary, which has historically had the highest voter turnout.

Of those that can vote, nearly all are registered - 96.49%, to be precise. However, only 52.1% of people used their vote last week in the 2022 Constable election, compared to 59.14% in 2018.

Following previous trends, St. Helier had the lowest percentage of registered voters per population.


CLICK TO ENLARGE: In all parishes except Grouville, percentage of voter turnout was less than in 2018.

Of those that were eligible, around three in five were registered to vote (59.83%) in time for the 2022 election and only 32.43% actually voted.

Previous global rankings

While more than 60,000 people managed to make it onto the electoral register, Jersey has historically struggled with its voter engagement.

A report published earlier this year revealed that the island's political engagement was among the lowest in the world.


Pictured: Jersey ranked lowest in civic engagement.

The Better Life Index of 2021 ranked Jersey lowest for voter turnout out of 41 countries according to an index aiming to measure a nation’s wellbeing and progress.

As in 2019, Jersey ranked lower than all OECD member and partner countries in civic engagement with a score of zero.

So, how do we fare now?

Well, it's hard to say.

In its initial election post-mortem report, electoral observers noted that the current system makes it difficult to assess turnout and needed to change.

“The total number of voters having cast a ballot was not required to be announced, which makes it difficult for the general public to calculate turnout,” their report said.

“In fact, the Mission noted that the counting on the voters’ lists of the number of voters having cast a vote was not a requirement, thus impeding a reconciliation of the number of valid ballots and turnout per polling station.

“It is good practice that this information is made available to the public at the polling station level as soon as possible.”

Constable turnout is, however, possible to work out.

Only 24,046 of the 60,701 people registered actually voted in the 2022 Constable elections, making voter engagement just 39%.

This is another decrease from the 2018 figure, where just over 43% of those registered turned up on the day to vote.

Unfortunately, this further decrease in voter turnout suggests that Jersey's global position is unlikely to improve.

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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by IanSmith97 on
Can you blame us for not voting? Just wait and see the shambles to come when they reopen the “where shall we put the new hospital?” fiasco because that is coming down the track.
Posted by Frustrated Islander on
The position will not improve until we have online voting available but this appears too difficult or a low priority for the government at the moment.

As a voter, the current system is manually intensive, dare I say open to error as a result and discourages voter turn out. If we need two jobs to pay our mortgages then please allow us to vote online.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
WHY was out turnout so poor :-
1) "The total number of voters having cast a ballot was not required to be announced," ~ this leads to speculation that the elections were not properly run.
2) The Loss of Island Wide Votes ~ against many peoples wishes.
3) The lack of Politicians interest in "knocking on doors" ~ they could not be bothered.
4) The horrid thought, that this new lot, whoever they are, will overturn the new hospital site and budget ~ putting us back 5 years or more.
That's why the public said "why should we bother".
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