The Jersey Evening Post sent an email to every candidate standing in the general election on 16 May and amongst the questions asked included “Where do you place yourself on the political spectrum.”
There are a few issues with such a simplistic question – asking people to place themselves without any evidence or backing allows them to hedge and put themselves where they think people want to see them – which is backed by the actual results.
The other issue is a straight left right spectrum doesn’t work. People might be theoretically left on economics and right or social issues. They might be more authoritarian on some things and more socialist on others. It is possible to be an authoritarian socialist and a liberal free marketer.
The thing that interests me most about the placement of the 90 odd candidates is the symmetry.
Two on the left, two on the right, 13 on the centre left and 13 on the centre right. It is incredible how equal it works itself out to be across the board.
Given time and notice it would have been better to encourage all candidates to take the political compass test to get a rough mapping of their political position based on responses to key questions.