Guernsey Press

Vale douzaine candidate’s nomination ruled out on election day

A Vale douzaine candidate was disqualified at the 11th hour, after it was discovered his seconder was not on the electoral roll.

(Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32727896)

Six people were standing for the four seats in the northern parish. Throughout Wednesday 219 of the 5,101 parishioners on the roll cast their votes.

But Martyn Torode’s seconder was not one of them.

The error was only spotted on election day, and Mr Torode was consequently disqualified during the count.

Someone proposing a person for the douzaine must live in the parish and be on the electoral roll.

‘The first I knew about it was last night,’ said Mr Torode yesterday.

‘My seconder, Paul Guilmoto, had been told when he went to register his vote that he wasn’t on the electoral roll.

‘He was shocked, and was adamant that he had voted in the parish before. I am very disappointed. Gutted.’

When Mr Torode handed in his form to the douzaine, the fact that Mr Guilmoto was not on the electoral list seems to have been missed.

Both Vale constables Bill Cohu and Richard Leale refused to comment on how the mistake happened, or what they would do to ensure it did not occur again.

Former Vale deputy Mary Lowe was surprised by the error.

‘I have seen many a time where people have been turned away from standing due to them being proposed by someone out of the Vale,’ she said.

‘Vale accepted a form incorrectly.’

The election was initially supposed to take place on the 1 November, but was deferred to Wednesday on Mrs Lowe's intervention. Mr Guilmoto not appearing on the electoral roll was not picked up at that parish meeting.

‘The electorate were misled on the 1 November when candidates were read out. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the election wasn’t deferred,’ said Mrs Lowe.

‘It’s not good. When you look at voting and the number of votes cast, people who had been voting for Martyn Torode may have voted differently had they known. The results may have been different and Jeremy Smithies may have still been in the douzaine.’

Victoria Robinson topped the poll with 177 votes, followed by Richard Digard with 141, newcomer Oliver Goddard with 97 and John Niles with 65.

Mr Smithies narrowly missed with 57 votes.

It is not known how many votes Mr Torode received.