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“It’s not that they can’t vote, they don’t trust the political system"

“It’s not that they can’t vote, they don’t trust the political system

Tuesday 11 April 2023

“It’s not that they can’t vote, they don’t trust the political system"

Tuesday 11 April 2023


Jersey’ voter turnout is lower than any country in the OECD, according to a report by a newly formed thinktank.

Only 17% of people under 35 and 16% of tenants voted in the 2022 election, according to the Policy Centre Jersey.

In comparison, people aged 65 and over had a turnout of 53%. 

18% of those living in urban areas voted, while in rural areas, turnout was of 40%. 

“It’s really important that all sections of the community participate fully in the election so that policy-makers take account first of all in what they say to the electorate but also in what they do then [in office],” the author of the report, former leader of the Jersey Alliance Sir Mark Boleat, said. 

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

Guernsey’s turnout is much higher at 79.7%, though this can partly be explained by different registration practices. Turnout is higher in Guernsey than Jersey, Sir Mark said, but the difference isn’t as significant as the turnout figure suggests. 

The main reasons that people gave for not voting in the 2022 election were that it wouldn’t have made a difference, that they didn’t trust the political system, they’re not interested in the election, and they didn’t know enough about the candidates. 

“It’s not that they can’t vote, they don’t trust the political system,” Sir Mark said. 

“When I started this research people said that’s because people are very happy. The evidence doesn’t support that.” 

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Pictured: The report was authored by Sir Mark Boleat.

He said that one other factor that might be at play is tradition: people are not used to voting. 

The evidence is that people not born in Jersey are more likely to vote than Jersey people. People who have come here from Britain are used to have voted in elections. It's standard, people vote. 

Turnout at the last election was just 41.7%, making it the election with the third lowest turnout in the last 30 years. On average, over the last 30 years, turnout has been 44.1%. 

Some of the solutions the report suggests are increasing postal voting, increasing the number of polling stations, and introducing super polling stations. 

READ MORE...

New think tank launched to increase policy engagement

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

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Comments

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Posted by Sheila Young on
Mark Boleat is correct people are far from happy, but what is the point of voting for politicians that do not listen to what people want. Every St Helier resident I speak to is horrified by the size and number of flats that have been allowed to be built, we complain but nobody listens. In today's news I see the following article An appeal has begun to decide whether more than 238 new homes should be built in the heart of Jersey's capital, St Helier. This proposed development is on Broad Street which will provide yet more towering flats, right in our town centre. I hope there is plenty of opposition to this proposal we have more than enough high rise buildings in St Helier now. The people moving into all of these thousands of flats are vacating other premises which must decrease the demand. Stop building flats in St Helier we have far more than enough now, we are entitled to see daylight too, although when walking between some of these towering buildings it is not easy to see it!
Posted by Martin on
Try to find ANYONE who voted for a politician based on their manifesto - ONLY to find subsequently that the manifesto fell inadvertently into the Gov industrial shredder/S!
Posted by Michael Balston on
"The evidence is that people not born in Jersey are more likely to vote than Jersey people. People who have come here from Britain are used to have voted in elections. It's standard, people vote.”

Really?? What evidence? As the number of non Jersey born people have increased then voting numbers should have increased particularly as even many Jersey born people have non Jersey parents
Posted by MichaelEvans46 on
I stopped voting about 8 years ago when after a referendum the politicians didn’t like the results and chose to ignore what the voters asked for
Posted by Frustrated Islander on
There are a number of reasons people don't vote and most have been mentioned above but there is one big area that the States are ignoring or pushing into the "too difficult" pile for a later date.

Anyone that has waited to vote while experiencing the Parish Hall system, with its manual registers, pen, paper and very antiquated routine will understand why you wouldn't want to repeat that experience in a hurry. No computers required or necessary!!! Come on Jersey, wake up, get into the right century, pay the development money to get a secure online voting system.
Posted by Elizabeth Le Poidevin on
Just my opinion but not only do people not trust the elected States Assembly members to uphold the pledges they were voted in to achieve, but the Government (civil service) will not improve efficiency and deliver change. We have so many managers and administrators of departments for whom change is a potential threat.
Posted by MichaelEvans46 on
I stopped voting about 8 years ago when after a referendum the politicians didn’t like the results and chose to ignore what the voters asked for
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