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Island Wide Voting Review


Background information for Politics Group Live discussion of Island Wide Voting in March 2023.



How to have your say
How the 2020 election worked
Examples of previous Scrutiny reviews
Background information




The Scrutiny Management Committee launched a review of Island Wide Voting in February 2023 and asked for input from the public.

Island Wide Voting was introduced for the first time at the 2020 general election on 7 October 2020 after a public referendum in 2018. Instead of voting by district, voters could select from all of the candidates across the island, casting up to 38 votes. In 2020 there were 119 candidates to choose from.

Scrutiny wanted to assess how well the new system performed. The findings will not impact the 2025 election but could alter subsequent elections.

Deputy Yvonne Burford, President of the Scrutiny Management Committee, said: ‘My committee considers that such a substantial change to the way we elect our government should be reviewed and feedback from the community should be sought in order to inform the operation of general elections beyond 2025. We want to hear from the public and all interested parties’.


How to have your say


There are no guidelines as to what headings to use or questions to answer when making our submission. You have free rein to say whatever you feel would be useful to the Scrutiny panel.

Clearly mark your submission with your name and contact details. Anonymous submissions won’t be considered.

Your views may be published in the final report. If you’d rather not have your name associated with them, mark your evidence ‘Private and Confidential’ and give an explanation as to why.

Submit your feedback by e-mail to – in Word or PDF. Deadline is close of business on 7 April 2023.

Read the ‘Call for evidence’ guidance for more information.

Media release

Terms of reference


How the 2020 election worked


Candidates got a grant of £500 from the States and could spend up to £6,000 on their campaign.

The States produced a combined manifesto booklet, with two pages allocated to each candidate. This was delivered to every household.

The website (still available, although only elected candidates are included now) displayed contact details, photo, manifesto and a video for each candidate.

The States arranged a ‘Meet the Candidates event’ at Beau Sejour on the Sunday ten days before the election.

There were no official hustings. Groups of candidates got together and put on their own hustings.

Registered political parties were permitted. Party members could contribute up to £3000 of their £6000 spending limit towards party campaign expenses. Party campaign expenses could not exceed £9,000.

Three political parties registered – the Guernsey Party, the Partnership of Independents and the Alliance Party. One group of deputies advertised together but did not form a party (the so-called ‘Van Party’).

Photo: Bailiwick Express Guernsey

Some candidates canvassed door-to-door. Some candidates posted, or door-dropped, manifesto leaflets, often collectively with others. Some put up posters. Some used social media. Some advertised in the Press/Bailiwick Express.

Two super-polling stations were available for use the weekend before the election, and again on the day before the election and election day itself.

Parish polling stations were available on the day before the election and election day itself.

Postal voting was available (and was well-used – 21,000 people registered which was more than 10 times as many as 2016).

The count took place at Beau Sejour and the result was announced at approximately 1am.


Examples of previous Scrutiny reviews


Freedom of Information Review  – Aug 2020

Review of the Capital Allocation Process – June 2020

In-work Poverty Review – November 2018


Background information


Election 2020 website

Information for prospective candidates

Wikipedia – 2020 Guernsey general election

First policy letter – describes new election process

Second policy letter – includes costs of election and recount

Policy letter in response to the election observers and registrar-general’s reports.

Election observers report on the 2020 election

Registrar-general’s report on the 2020 election

The strangest election in the world? Reflecting on the 2020 General Election in Guernsey, J Reardon (University of Cumbria) and C Pich (Nottingham Trent University) 2021

Are Guernsey about to hold the strangest election in the world? M Palesa (Electoral Reform Society) (6 Oct 2020)

Referendum policy letter from 2017

Referendum website




Meerveld – ‘most people happy with island-wide voting system’ (8 Feb 2023, Guernsey Press)

Public invited to have their say on island-wide voting (2 Feb 2023, Guernsey Press)

Guernsey election 2020: Island-wide vote ‘successful’ (7 Dec 2020, BBC Guernsey)

Susan Taylor letter: How much did this election costs to run? (16 Oct 2020, Guernsey Press)

Guernsey election 2020: Results (11 Oct 2020, BBC Guernsey)

Election recount will take place, after request from four unsuccessful candidates (9 Oct 2020, Guernsey Press)

Guernsey Election: 21,000 people register for postal voting (28 Sep 2020, ITV Channel TV)

Guernsey’s 2020 election ‘will be the strangest in the world’ (15 Feb 2020, BBC Guernsey)

Guernsey referendum: Voters back island-wide system (11 Oct 2018, BBC Guernsey)


Referendum options

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.

Want to learn more about public office vacancies 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? 

Sign up to our newsletter