Lee, Political expert at the University of Plymouth, who specialises
in the politics of Channel Islands, on the result and turnout of
this a landslide victory in every sense?
It's a landslide,
yes, in that Dick Shenton had a majority over Juliette Gallichan
of over 47 per cent, which is pretty substantial, UNTIL we look
at the turnout.
of the electorate didn't vote, so if you work out the figures, this
resounding victory was with the votes of fifteen and a half per
cent of the electorate.
the low turnout quite normal for a by-election?
Yes, but what
is surprising is that given all the controversy lately of sales
tax and other tax reforms, and Dick Shenton's opposition to it,
that the vote wasn't higher. In some cases, it was decidedly low,
such as St. Helier's 16 per cent.
was St. Helier's turnout so poor?
has a very high percentage of privately rented accommodation, and
that's always associated with low turnout. There's more turbulence
in that housing market. And there's relatively few people, compared
to the rest of the island, who are actually on the electoral register,
which of course are parish-based.
'party politics' help to increase the turnout?
It can increase
turnout, as has been shown in the U.K. where council areas that
were independent, but where parties have started to contest, voting
numbers have sometimes increased. The evidence however, is not conclusive.
about the voters in Jersey that think the government works in spite
of them rather than because of them?
It's very difficult
for somebody going into the ballot box in Jersey to see a direct
relationship between who he or she votes for and what then emerges
as either the structure of the government, or the policies that
the government pursues. There is no clear and close connection because
of the composition of the House.