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None of the Above: NOTA-lotta fun for some Constables...

None of the Above: NOTA-lotta fun for some Constables...

Thursday 23 June 2022

None of the Above: NOTA-lotta fun for some Constables...

Thursday 23 June 2022

Every Constable facing an uncontested election beat ‘None of the Above’ – but not always comfortably.

For the first time, an option to record dissatisfaction for whatever reason featured on the ballot paper in the 2022 election.

However, the eight Constables who did not face opposition all recorded more votes than ‘None of the Above’.

The results were:

St. Ouen – Richard Honeycombe (955 votes); None of the Above (443, 31% of total vote)

St. John – Andy Jehan (1,080); None of the Above (44, 4%) 

Trinity – Philip Le Sueur (736); None of the Above (295, 29%)

St. Martin – Karen Shenton-Stone (1,119); None of the Above (62, 5%)

St. Clement – Marcus Troy (2039); None of the Above (291, 12%)

St. Brelade – Mike Jackson (2,333); None of the Above (882, 25%)

St. Peter – Richard Vibert (1,150); None of the Above (278, 19%)

St. Saviour – Kevin Lewis (1,552); None of the Above (1,142, 42%)

Philip Le Sueur was re-elected Constable of Trinity for the third time - but for the first time as a member of the Jersey Alliance Party. He polled 736 votes but 295 parishioners preferred ‘None of the Above’.

"I think... my party membership had a negative effect"

He said: “I think the fact that I declared my party membership had a negative effect.

"I also believe some of the other Constables have hung back on party membership to see how I got on before making their move."

Addressing the issue of who he would serve, party or parish, Mr Le Sueur said: “I have made it abundantly clear at every opportunity that there is no party whip and I would never vote against wishes of my parishioners.”

None of the Above poster St Brelade Mike Jackson.jpeg

Pictured: Almost 900 parishioners in St. Brelade crossed the 'None of the Above' box in the election for Constable. It was even higher in St. Saviour.

He added: “I didn’t do any canvassing of the parish.

"I thought as I have been Constable for two terms, I would let parishioners decide if I should carry on.

“They have chosen me, which I’m obviously delighted about, and I’m looking forward to serving Trinity for the next four years.”

The Constable behind 'NOTA'

‘None of the Above’ for uncontested elections was first proposed by St. Martin Constable Karen Shenton-Stone, who presented the idea to the States in November 2020, as an amendment to the controversial ‘super-constituency’ plans, which the States Assembly accepted the following month.

She said: “During the 2018 General Election, 14 of the 49 Members of this States Assembly were elected unopposed, including myself. 

“When I ran for the States Assembly, I did so under the expectation that I would face a challenge. None arrived, and I was therefore elected without the need for a ballot.

“In a way, I found this to be disheartening, because I would have gladly campaigned for my seat and fought a proper campaign to win it. 

“While this is not to say that I believe that uncontested elections are illegitimate, I am of the belief that a mechanism should be included in our voting system to ensure that Islanders have the final say in any election, regardless of how many candidates there are, and not allow the final outcome elections to be decided when nominations close.”

If there had been more votes for ‘None of the Above’ then a further election would have taken place, with the beaten candidate allowed to stand again.

Close call

The candidate closest to this was Kevin Lewis in St. Saviour, where 42% of the total votes cast were not for him. Constable Shenton-Stone got the result she wanted: a mandate with just 5% of votes going against her.

St. Brelade Constable Mike Jackson survived the only coordinated ‘None of the Above’ campaign, led by an anonymous parishioner or group of parishioners, who erected posters and banners.

None of the Above gathered a quarter of the votes cast in the south-western parish.

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Posted by Jon Jon on
True Le Sueur did no canvassing at all in Trinity ,hopefully he’s learnt a lesson if he intends standing again!
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