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Grammar’s mock referendum picks option C

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OPTION C – a mix of island-wide and district representatives – was the stand-out winner in The Grammar School’s mock referendum.

Grammar School students, left to right, Alicia Bailey, 15, Marco Phillips, 14, and Lewis Rich, 14, who voted in its mock referendum. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 22768664)

There was a 91% turnout of the 835 students on roll, with 764 votes including students and staff.

Option C, which would see 10 deputies elected island-wide and 28 between seven districts every four years, got 51% of the vote on the first round of counting, with a total of 388.

Option A, full island-wide voting, was next with 153.

The mock referendum was organised by head of citizenship, Jackie Davies.

She said the school did these simulated votes to help give their students an understanding of adult life.

‘One day they will be adults in the community so they need to understand the electoral process,’ she said.

‘We have done this for the last few general and island elections.

‘We did Brexit, which they voted for stay and we did the American presidency.

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‘This was a great opportunity to do our own in-house election.

‘It is really important to give our pupils an understanding of what is going on out here today in our island community.

In the lead-up to the vote, politicians supporting the different options visited the school to give a speech on their opinions.

The children were also briefed on the transferable voting system, and found that while doing practice runs, the secondary choice greatly affected the outcome.

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Marco Philips, 14, said the in-class hustings had made some pupils rethink their vote.

‘In our class we got into groups and decided which option we wanted to choose,’ he said.

‘Each group had to present what they thought the best option was, and what the advantages and disadvantages were. Some people changed their minds afterwards.’

Two students who had already voted had differing opinions.

Elicia Bailey, 14, said: ‘I voted A, E, C because A was a lot like E which I was going to vote for, but then I thought six years was a long time for people to stay deputies.

Lewis, Rich, 14 said: ‘I voted E, A, C. I liked the idea of having six years then one third would be re-elected every two years.’

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