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INSIDE STORY: Reform Jersey... It's our party!

INSIDE STORY: Reform Jersey... It's our party!

Thursday 23 June 2022

INSIDE STORY: Reform Jersey... It's our party!

Thursday 23 June 2022


When the result for St. Helier South came in, the applause at Reform headquarters at the Royal Hotel in David Place were so loud you would have thought they had won the lottery – and in some ways they had.

Many observers had branded the party’s decision to put forward three candidates in a district with only four seats, two of which were sitting Deputies, as ludicrous.

But the gamble paid off with party chairman, Senator Sam Mézec, topping the poll, and fellow members Tom Coles, and Beatriz Porée getting elected at their second attempt.

The fourth candidate to be elected in the district was newcomer independent David Warr of the Better Way movement.

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Pictured: Tom Coles celebrates after being elected in his second attempt.

The result was a bloody nose for long-standing States Members Judy Martin, and Russell Labey, both of whom seemed to know the writing was on the wall and who had been spotted apparently drowning their sorrows earlier in the evening in the Post Horn.

African-born, Portuguese-speaking, Beatriz Porée, makes history as being the first woman of colour to be elected to the States Assembly.

She describes Angola as her "country of birth" and Jersey as her "country of choice".

Born in Africa, she was educated in Portugal, but has lived in Jersey longer than in either of the other two countries.

She could hardly hold back the tears as the results were announced.

She was mobbed by supporters eager to congratulate her and seemed dazed.

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Pictured: Beatriz Porée could hardly hold back the tears as she celebrated being the first black person to be elected to the States Assembly.

It was time to get the drinks in.

There was than a setback, as sitting States Member Trevor Pointon, failed to get elected in St. Helier North. He had formally been the Deputy for St. John, but joined Reform for the election, given his very similar voting record.

But the party was soon back on track... In St. Helier Central, there were nine candidates for just five seats.

Reform put forward five candidates and swept the board: sitting deputies Carina Alves, Rob Ward and Geoff Southern, being re-elected, and newcomers Catherine Curtis, and Lyndsay Feltham joining their ranks.

The party was on a roll, the cheers were becoming louder, and the levels of euphoria and expectation growing steadily higher. Could the evening get even better?

With a lull in the results, the partygoers headed to the bar.

In a rollercoaster of an evening, there was then another dip for Reform, as Helen Evans failed to get elected in the newly created constituency of St. Mary, St. Ouen, and St. Peter - though she was very close.

It had now gone midnight, and although some supporters had gone home, most were still patiently waiting at party headquarters to hear the Deputies’ results from St. Brelade and St. Saviour.

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Pictured: Reform Jersey were by far the most successful of the political parties, with 10 elected candidates. 

The first to declare was St. Brelade, with Reform stalwart Monty Tadier scrapping in in fourth place, pushing out sitting States Member and Progress Party leader Senator Steve Pallett, with Reform’s Nigel Jones also failing to make the cut at sixth place.

With the bar now closed, and the hotel management threatening to evict everyone, it was a race against the clock: would the St. Saviour result come in before everyone was asked to go home?

It was a close-run thing.

At 1:40am, Jersey elected its first Romanian-born politician, Reform’s Raluca Kovacs.

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Pictured: Two very special firsts! Jersey's first black politician, Beatriz Porée, embraces Jersey's first Romanian-born politician, Raluca Kovacs.

She was fourth in a parish that elected five candidates pushing out sitting States Members Kevin Pamplin and Jeremy Maçon.

In a rousing speech at the end of the evening, Rob Ward declared it an amazing evening for Reform: "Double digits. 50:50 men and women. 20% of the States. The first woman of colour. The first Romanian.

"Reform is the true party of inclusion and diversity.

"Reform is the way forward."

It seems many voters agree.

GALLERY...

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Comments

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 Jon Jon on
Let’s have Island wide voting next time and see if Reform do so well,they pick the safe seats of St Helier!
Posted by gordon le claire on
lets now hope thing get better for the people of jersey and the states member do what they promised
Posted by Frale Le Pre on
Reform have done so well because they were the only politcal party to admit that there is a housing crisis occurring in Jersey.
For that reason Sam Mezec should be Chief Minister.
The rest of the islands politicians were/are either to stupid or involved as landlords to tackle the problem which is damaging business, families and the future of our island.
This has to be dealt with now
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