Election date set as 16 June 2021
A MAJOR date in the island’s calendar has been changed as deputies voted to postpone the general election to 16 June 2021.
A last-minute attempt by two members of Sacc, deputies Jennifer Merrett and Emilie McSwiggan, to move the general election to 21 April 2021 failed.
Deputies rejected Sacc’s proposal to review the island’s situation in July to see if an election could be held in October 2020.
After the amendment by Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq on behalf of P&R was approved by the majority of States members, deputies Merrett and McSwiggan suggested another change to the date for those politicians who could not support the original proposals nor the proposal to defer the election to June 2021.
‘This amendment tries to find some common ground and harmony to bring about a spring-time election,’ Deputy Merrett said.
Several deputies had mentioned in earlier debates about delaying the election until June 2021 that they would have supported a spring election, rather than being restricted to the proposed dates of October 2020 or June 2021.
Deputy Chris Green said the whole debate had been calling for an amendment of this sort.
‘I have felt all along that the original proposals from Sacc and the amendment carried by Deputy Le Tocq were not quite what we wanted.’
He commended the leaders of the April date amendment calling it a ‘common sense compromise’.
In 2015, Sacc moved the date of election from April to June, which former Sacc president Deputy Matt Fallaize explained was to create the maximum opportunity for candidates and voters to engage.
However, he said this final amendment seemed to be a date plucked out of thin air and Deputy Peter Ferbrache agreed, saying it was a prime example of how this Assembly can waste time when there are more pressing issues on the agenda.
Even Deputy Sarah Hansmann-Rouxel, who initially thought an April date might be more suitable than either October or next June, backtracked.
Seconder Deputy McSwiggan said this late date proposal sought to find a middle ground in response to the tone of the debate earlier in the day but it was defeated by 15 votes for and 22 against.
Politicians then overwhelmingly voted to remain in office until 30 June 2021 with a general election on 16 June 2021.