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"Much healthier" turnout at parish elections

Sunday 22 November 2020

"Much healthier" turnout at parish elections

A local group championing women in public life is hoping the surge in interest in parish politics will continue long into the future, after this week’s elections in St Peter Port and St Martin’s saw a massively increased turnout.

At its peak, Women in Public Life Chair Shelaine Green said that over 200 people a day were accessing a voter information hub the group had set up, after hotly-contested elections in the two parishes led to the vote being deferred.

The organisation was "determined" to do something about the low turnout to the 2019 parish elections, running a social media campaign to promote candidates as well as setting up the information hub with photographs and contact details for all candidates.

“We’re thrilled to have played our part in ensuring that this year’s parish elections had a record number of candidates, and a much healthier number of voters,” said Ms Green. 

Pictured: St Peter Port douzenier Zoe Lihou secured re-election. 

“Our Douzaines should be the heart of the local community and it was concerning to see vacancies left unfilled, and very low turnout last year.”

St Martin’s enjoyed a 13% turnout with 389 votes cast, and St Peter Port saw 464 votes for a 6.1% turnout. Five of the nine Douzeniers are entirely new candidates, with poll-topper Odette Duerden securing three positions across the St Peter Port Douzaine.

“Our congratulations to everyone who stood for election last night, but particularly, of course, the three new female Douzeniers, Odette Deurden, Carla Bauer and Dr Nichola Lloyd, and new St Peter Port Constable Zoe Lihou,” said Ms Green.

“In total, 12 new female Douzeniers were elected this year from the nineteen who stood. That influx has shifted the percentage of female Douzeniers from 21% to 29% in one jump, which means there is now a greater proportion on women in the Douzaines than in the States.” 

Pictured: Richard Skipper, who narrowly missed out in the 2020 Island-wide election, was successful in gaining a seat on the St Peter Port Douzaine. 

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