Islanders are being asked to share their views and experiences of elections in Jersey by participating in one of a series of focus groups being run in partnership with Nottingham Trent University over the next month.
The aims of the research are to deepen Vote.je’s understanding of the barriers to voting; how best to build public engagement with the States Assembly throughout the political term; and how to improve voter turnout at future elections.
The focus group participants will be asked a range of questions to identify what encourages or prevents them from voting in Jersey, as well as discussing what measures might improve engagement and voter turnout in future elections. The first two focus groups will be held on 9 and 10 November, with further sessions to follow later in the month. Participants will be rewarded with vouchers for a local retailer or hospitality outlet of their choice at the equivalent value to the living wage.
Vote.je is partnering with Dr Christopher Pich, a senior lecturer and independent researcher at Nottingham Trent University, to research elections and voter engagement in Jersey. Dr Pich has undertaken numerous studies on voter engagement, political marketing and political branding in international settings including the United Kingdom, Iceland, India, Spain, Italy and Guernsey. This new research study will see Dr Pich running focus groups with Islanders to collect their views about local politics and elections.
Dr Pich explains – “Growing voter apathy and cynicism with politics and political institutions is an issue for many jurisdictions and more needs to be done to ensure democracies remain healthy and strong. We can only strengthen voter engagement by understanding the complexities and barriers associated with the voter journey.”
Head of Digital and Public Engagement, Jenny O’Brien, said: “In addition to the questions we asked in the Jersey Opinion and Lifestyle Survey immediately after the election in June, we are keen to also gather in-depth accounts of what drives voter behaviour.
It’s important that we hear from Islanders who represent our diverse community, and the accessibility of the focus groups is a key priority, whether that be the day or time, venue, use of translators, etc. Whether you voted, didn’t vote or have never heard of the States Assembly, we want to hear from you. Please register to take part by visiting Vote.je or call us on 0115 848 3862 to get involved.”