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English teacher Perchard passes election examination

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FIRST-time candidate Jess Perchard is the new Deputy for St Saviour No 3 district.

Deputy-elect Jess Perchard celebrates her success with her partner Jamie Le Brun (left), father Phil (right) and her many friends and supporters

The result, confirmed just after 9.50 pm at Maufant Youth Centre, saw the 28-year-old teacher top the poll of four candidates, with more than half the votes cast – 528.

Businesswoman Mary O’Keeffe was runner-up with 266 votes, property manager Andrew Le Quesne placed third with 161 votes and Tom Coles, of the Reform Jersey party, was last with 100 votes.

Deputy-elect Perchard (28) said: ‘I feel hugely privileged and humbled by the faith the constituents have placed in me.

‘My team and I did everything we could – we knocked on every door [in the constituency] twice.

‘I’m rather overwhelmed with the results and I would like to thank and congratulate my opponents on a very well fought campaign. It feels like a great honour to now be a Deputy.’

The Deputy-elect, who won the seat which was vacated by Deputy Terry McDonald, worked as an English literature teacher at Jersey College for Girls before her success last night.

At the start of her campaign, she said she was inspired to run for office as her students were ‘disengaged’ with Jersey’s political system.

‘What’s wonderful is that since I’ve been running for Deputy they have become a lot more engaged,’ added the former Hautlieu School pupil, who completed an English and Education degree at Cambridge University.

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Last night she celebrated her victory in the Five Oaks Eating House with her partner Jamie Le Brun, her father Phil and many friends and supporters, while her mother Nicki stayed at home to look after the couple’s puppy.

Asked how she was planning to celebrate the rest of the evening, Deputy-elect Perchard said: ‘I’m probably going to bed soon – I’m quite tired!

‘I was up at 6 am and at the polling station by 7 am.

‘I didn’t like the idea of all of us waiting in a line at the door so I took two deckchairs, a little table and got everyone to sit round and have a picnic with me.’

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