How does the vote of no confidence process work?

States Assembly
A vote of no confidence (VONC) has been lodged in Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré - but what happens next? Credit: ITV Channel TV

A vote of no confidence (VONC) has been lodged in Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, but what happens next?

The standard process is that States members will debate on the VONC in two weeks - the standard lodging period - although it is possible for the Assembly to agree for this debate to take place sooner.

As part of the debate, the Chief Minister will have the opportunity to answer questions and make a statement about his position.

If the majority of States members vote against the VONC, the Chief Minister will remain in post and his leadership cannot be challenged again during the following six months.

Should the majority of members vote in favour of the VONC, it would trigger the start of the process whereby the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers ‘fall’ from power, however they would remain in position until a new Chief Minister and Council of Ministers have been appointed. Following a successful VONC in the Chief Minister, any States member, with a minimum of six other Members supporting them, can present their strategic vision and intention to be considered for the role of Chief Minister. This opportunity remains open for a minimum of five clear working days. At the next meeting of the States Assembly, the prospective candidates are given the opportunity to present their strategic vision and answer questions from fellow members. The next Chief Minister would then be decided upon by a vote by States members.

To be successful, a candidate must receive at least half the votes cast. Should only one Member come forward as a candidate they would be appointed without a vote. The successful candidate then becomes Chief Minister Designate. The States Assembly then meets again within two clear working days to appoint ministers, at which point the current Ministers and Assistant Ministers would ‘fall’ immediately and the new Council of Ministers would come into being.