Guernsey Election: What is island-wide voting?

This October’s General Election in Guernsey is a first - it’s the first time all voters will get to choose their candidates on an island-wide basis. Credit: ITV Channel TV

This October’s General Election in Guernsey is a first - it is the first time all voters will get to choose their candidates on an island-wide basis.

No longer will, for example, people in the Vale be choosing from a list of those standing in the Vale, and casting their previous handful of votes.

This time around, wherever you live, you will be choosing from all the candidates in Guernsey, and you will get to cast up to 38 votes on what will clearly be quite a big ballot paper.

Guernsey’s politicians previously voted to slim down the size of the States Chamber and, at the same time, move to a system of island-wide voting.

There are many versions of this in place around the world, including some where you rank your chosen candidates in preferential order.

Guernsey’s is simpler than that in some respects; from the available long list of candidates (that number is still unknown as the nomination period for candidates has not yet closed – but expect it to be 100 or more), you cast your vote on your ballot paper against a maximum of 38 names.

That said, if you want to cast fewer of your votes, indeed you may choose only one, you are perfectly entitled to do so.

This General Election is also seeing the emergence of party politics; groupings of candidates under a common umbrella of policies or interests or promises.

You are under no obligation to only vote for candidates from the same party, or even from any party at all.

You may choose Candidate 1 from Party A, Candidate 2 from Party B, Candidate 3 who is in no party, and so on, or any combination that suits you.

The key dates to be aware of at this stage are:

  • 1 September: Nominations open for candidates who want to stand for election

  • 4 September: Nominations close

  • 3 and 4 October: Super-polling stations open

  • 6 and 7 October: Traditional local polling stations open

You can also register to cast your vote by post, but you must register by Friday 25 September here.