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Election 2025 rules

 

At the 22 May States meeting, Deputies will debate the second of two policy letters from the States Assembly and Constitution Committee (SACC) setting out how Election 2025 will be run. Second policy letter.

In summary, the proposals are:

  • the election day will be 18 June 2025
  • nomination period will be 12-14 May 2025
  • the spending limit for individual candidates will increase from £6,000 to £7,500.
  • the spending limit for political parties will increase from £9,000 to £15,000
  • the £500 campaigning grant will be discontinued
  • a by-election won’t be triggered until three vacancies have occurred, rather then one.

 

Spending limits

Setting the limit on how much candidates can spend is always contentious. On the one hand, the limit needs to be high enough that a candidate could mail all of the electorate, if they wished. On the other hand, too high a limit runs the risk of wealthier candidates being able to ‘buy’ their way into the States.

After the last election, the Registrar-General analysed the link between the amount spent and electoral success (page 28 of the Report of the Registrar-General of Electors). The average spend by those who were elected was £2,242, while for those who were not elected it was £1,178. However, spending the maximum did not guarantee success.

Currently, only the Registrar-General has access to candidates spending since it is her team that verifies – after the election – that no candidate overspent. But thanks to a successful proposition earlier this year, candidates will need to publicly declare their expenditure after Election 2025.

Prior to Island Wide Voting, candidates only needed to reach the voters in their district and the maximum spend per candidate was £2,300. In 2019, SACC proposed increasing this to £9,000, basing this limit on an estimate of the cost to send a 4 page personal manifesto to every voting household in the island. This was reduced to £6,000 by a DeSaus/Tooley amendment.

[If you want to read the 2019 debate on spending limits go to page 3005 of Hansard 11 Dec 2019. Debate continues at page 3072 of Hansard 12 Dec 2019.]

 

Campaign grant

In 2020, each candidate received a grant of £500 towards their campaigning expenses eg printing leaflets, designing a website etc. It was a retrospective grant – the candidate needed to spend the money first and then claim it back after the election.

In this second policy paper SACC proposes getting rid of this grant, on the grounds that it cost £50k in total in 2020 and the States already provides the manifesto booklet, videos, the Election website and the Beau Sejour ‘Meet the Candidates’ event.

 

Amendments

Amendment 1Roffey/Bury – to keep the maximum individual spend at £6,000, rather than increasing to £7,500. And to only increase the party spend to £12,000.

In the policy paper the SACC argues that the spending limits should increase in line with inflation. Deputy Roffey’s amendment doesn’t include an explanatory note but he told Bailiwick Express that he feels that £7,500 is ‘obscenely high’.

Amendment 2Queripel/Bury – to retain the £500 grant and uplift it for inflation.

Deputy Queripel told IslandFM: “Someone who cannot afford £500 for their campaign may have some really good ideas on how we can diversify the economy, save money and make money – so the whole community will lose out if we remove the grant”.

In addition, the Guernsey Press reports that there is “mounting opposition” to the proposal to only trigger a by-election if three deputies step down. The option to reject this proposal does not require an amendment. Deputies can simply vote against the proposition at the end of the debate and then the status quo (one vacancy triggers a by-election) will remain.

The States Assembly and Constitution Committee rejects the amendments but also says they aren’t worth ‘dying in a ditch’ over. Bailiwick Express report from SACC meeting.

 

January 2024 proposals

This is the second set of election proposals from SACC. The first set were voted on by the States in January 2024. First policy letter.

Those proposals were:

  • election expenditure will be published. Currently only the Registrar-General’s team sees it.
  • the regulated campaigning period will start six weeks before nominations begin. The campaigning period is when expenditure limits apply. In 2020, money that candidates and parties spent on activities completed before nomination didn’t count towards the expenditure limit.
  • a recount will be triggered when the difference between votes for the last successful and first unsuccessful candidate is 1% or 50 votes, whichever is the lower. In 2020, the recount margin was set at 2% of the total number of ballots, which was 493 votes. Four candidates were within this margin and three asked for a recount.
  • people convicted of an electoral, fraud or corruption offence in the last five years will be banned from standing. Historically, people have been ineligible to stand if they have had any conviction of six months or more in the UK, CI or IoM in the last five years.

 
The proposal relating to convictions was overturned by a Prow/Ferbrache amendment. In addition, Deputy Bury successfully placed an amendment to instruct Home Affairs to investigate DBS checks for candidates.

 

Media

Election candidates may have to fund their own campaigns (10 Apr, Guernsey Press)
“Obscenely high” election spending uplift faces opposition (1 May, Bailiwick Express)
Candidates in Guernsey’s 2020 election may not get campaign grant (15 May, IslandFM)
Deputies challenge States to keep election grant in place (16 May, Bailiwick Express)
Mounting opposition to plans for controls on by-elections (17 May, Guernsey Press)
“Astonishing number” of handwritten manifestos (17 May, Bailiwick Express)
SACC won’t roll over on 2025 election plans (18 May, Bailiwick Express)

 

More information

There’s more detail about Guernsey’s elections in our Island Wide Voting Review briefing sheet.

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-SA

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: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg 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-adern-2

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: data.ipu.org) 

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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