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Voters kick out Guernsey ministers

Voters kick out Guernsey ministers

Thursday 28 April 2016

Voters kick out Guernsey ministers

Thursday 28 April 2016

Four ministers have been voted out of office in Guernsey after elections that saw the number of women in the island’s States Chamber double.

Guernsey’s ministers for Education, Environment, Commerce and Culture all fell at the polls, and with four more not standing for re-election, just three of the 11 ministers are still in a job this morning.

The island’s Chief Minister Jonathan Le Tocq scraped back in with a fifth-placed finish in his five-seat district, while Treasury Minister Gavin St Pier took fourth place in his six-seat district.

Former Chief Minister Lyndon Trott topped the poll in his district, making a return to the Policy Council – Guernsey’s version of the Council of Ministers – likely for the former accountant.

The elections were part of a reform package that have reduced the number of seats in the States from 45 to 38 – unlike Jersey, all Members of the States serve as Deputies representing multi-member districts, and all serve a four-year term.

In total, ten sitting Members lost their seats last night.

When the successful candidates take their oaths of office on Saturday, there will be 14 newcomers among them, and 12 women, up from five in the last House.

Controversial education reforms that have led to the closure of a school in Guernsey was seen as one of the key factors behind the departure of Education Minister Robert Sillars, while transport policy changes that sparked protests were a factor in the loss of Environment Minister Yvonne Burford’s seat.

But the biggest scalp of the night was Commerce and Employment Minister Kevin Stewart, who had worked in commercial radio and accountancy, and who had been criticised for failing to deal with the problems around Condor’s new Liberation vessel.

Alongside them, the ministers responsible for Health, Social Security, Public Services and Home Affairs all stood down.

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