Calls for 2022 election in Jersey to be held in May rather than June

The Privileges and Procedures Committee wants a ballot to be held in June to prevent clashes with Liberation Day. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/PA Images

Next year's election in Jersey should be held in May instead of June according to the External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst. He says politicians should not be in office for longer than they are elected for.

The Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC), the body that is in charge of election rules, wants a ballot to be held in June to prevent campaigning clashing with Liberation Day on the 9th May.

Now Senator Gorst has lodged an amendment to the original proposition from the PPC, saying the plans have "unintended consequences."

I do not believe that any parliament should extend its own period of office beyond that which the public believed it was voting for...except for in periods of crisis. Moving the election day to 22nd June 2022 gives this Assembly and the Council of Ministers an extra month in office, and I cannot see a legitimate reason that is in the public interest for doing so.

Senator Ian Gorst, Jersey's External Relations Minister

In 2018, when the election was moved from the autumn to the spring, existing politicians were part of the official 9 May ceremony, while new candidates were not, sparking concerns those attending the formalities had an unfair advantage.

Senator Gorst says he understands the points made by the PPC regarding the impact of a mid-May election with Easter, the bank holiday and Liberation Day to consider.

However he says these issues should be addressed in time for the 2026 election so voters in 2022 are aware of the mandate they are giving to the new assembly.

I consider it to be a dangerous precedent, and in my opinion not good for democracy, for a parliament to decide, one year before an election, to extend its own term of office for one month for what appear to be minor administrative reasons.

Senator Ian Gorst, Jersey's External Relations Minister

The amendment is scheduled for debate on 20 April.