Senator-elect Le Marquand led from the outset, won every parish and finished the better part of four thousand votes ahead of his nearest rival. For a newcomer to the political scene, this was little short of astounding. It also testifies to the way in which the former Magistrate’s reputation for fair dealing and high intelligence has quietly permeated Islanders’ perceptions.
When the Senator-elect takes his seat, he will be top of the list of candidates for Home Affairs Minister, a position which would undoubtedly benefit greatly from his acumen, his know-ledge of matters related to law and order and his avowed interest in restoring political oversight where it has been allowed to lapse.
Meanwhile, with three out of four candidates who were members of the former executive securing re-election or promotion to the Senatorial benches, the much-vaunted kick in the teeth that some imagined the old guard were about to receive simply failed to materialise. It is true that former Education Minister Mike Vibert was unseated and that Deputy Geoff Southern, a fierce opponent of the ruling faction, was just out of the running in seventh place, but it remains significant that the Jersey Democratic Alliance and Time4Change failed to capture the public’s imagination with their promises of a new order.
The greens also fared relatively poorly. Although they brought a new dimension to the contest and new ideas to hustings meetings, their one-dimensional approach clearly did not find favour with the mass of voters. If, however, there was any indication of an appetite for adding some spice to the Senatorial mix it came in the shape of the impressive result of Deputy Alan Breckon and the less spectacular but nevertheless very creditable success of Deputy Sarah Ferguson. Deputy Breckon, who is very much a man of the people, is most unlikely to fall easily into step with the executive in spite of promotion. And Deputy Ferguson will no doubt continue to apply her powers of analysis to attack any spendthrift tendencies her colleagues might begin to display.