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What are the rules for what I can and can’t do?

Make the official candidates’ guide your best friend from now until the Election.

Rules about Elections are almost always set out in law. In Guernsey, the main law is called the Reform (Guernsey) Law, 1948, as amended. This provides the framework for our local elections, as well as other functions of the States and the parishes.

You can find all our laws on a website called – you might want to keep a note of that, as it will be useful after you’re elected too. I always look for a version called a “consolidated text” if it’s available – this is a draft of the law which includes every amendment that has been made to it since it was first written. It isn’t the official form of the law, but it is the easiest way of finding out what the law actually covers at the moment.

As well as the Reform Law, election rules are set out in a number of smaller pieces of law, called Ordinances and Regulations. For example, spending rules for this election are set out in the Electoral Expenditure Ordinance, 2020. All of these are also available on the website.

I’ve explained all this because if you want to know the letter of the law in respect of Elections, you’ll find it – unsurprisingly – in the laws themselves, and you need to know where to find those.

But laws can be difficult to read, and different rules are scattered across different pieces of law, so that’s why guidance is produced. There is an official guide for candidates on the 2020 Election website, and that is always going to be a good place to start if you want to establish what you can and can’t do as part of your campaign. (Predictably, the most complicated rules are about Election spending.)

Remember, if you can’t find what you need in the guide, or if you’re really unsure about something, don’t sit and stew. There are also FAQs on the Election website which might be helpful, and at the bottom of those, there are contact details for the Elections team. If you really can’t find an answer to your question, get in touch with them, and they will do their best to help.

P.S. If you were a States Member in the past, or if you stood in a previous election and didn’t get in, please don’t assume that the rules now are exactly the same as they were. Rules evolve from term to term, and island-wide voting has changed things even more than usual – so please take the time to look at this with fresh eyes, as if you were standing for the first time again.

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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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