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What does it take to be a Guernsey politician?

To start with, I want to try and answer some of the questions you’re bound to be asking yourself when you are weighing up whether or not to enter Guernsey politics.

Of course it’s important to think through the consequences of taking on such a big commitment, and to recognise and prepare for the impact it might have on you and on your family. There are very valid reasons why politics might not be the right choice for you now, or maybe ever. Your wellbeing, and the happiness of those you love, comes first.

But if that’s not an issue, I hope this will also prompt you to think about the kind of future you want for the people you love, and for our beautiful Island, and ask yourself – can I afford not to?

So, first: What does it take to be a Guernsey politician?

The simplest answer is “it takes all sorts”. A democracy works well if people from all parts of society feel that they have a say in government. For this to happen, the mix of people in the States needs to be pretty varied. If you look at the 38 Guernsey Deputies and 2 Alderney Reps who make up our States right now, I think you will agree that any voter with a view on a particular issue is likely to find at least one sympathetic ear in the States.

You don’t need special qualifications. You don’t need to belong to a party. You don’t need previous political experience. You do need to be on the Electoral Roll. And you do need to be at least 18 years old. For details on the technical side of it, please check the website. But there’s no secret or science to it. You just need a good heart, a willingness to work hard, and a genuine commitment to this Island.

If you want to get a sense of the States, you can watch our meetings in person at any time. We meet in the Royal Court at the top of Smith Street and there is a public gallery which is open to anyone. If you need a reasonable adjustment, please get in touch with the team at the Greffe, who should be able to assist. The calendar of States’ dates is published on the website .

If you’re thinking of becoming a politician, it’s worth reminding yourself that States Members are just ordinary people. You will probably see us in action and think “I could do better” – and, you know, I’m sure that’s true. But if people like you don’t run for the States, you will just continue to be governed by people like us. Really, that’s at the heart of the decision you’ve got to make.

Go back to Getting Into Guernsey Politics
Go back to Section 1.1: Making the Decision
Register to Vote

Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.


Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

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