2023 Gibraltar general election

2023 Gibraltar general election

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All 17 seats in the Gibraltar Parliament
9 seats needed for a majority
Turnout76.40% (Increase5.56pp)
  First party Second party
 
Leader Fabian Picardo Keith Azopardi
Party Alliance Social Democrats
Last election 52.50%, 10 seats[1] 25.55%, 6 seats[1]
Seats won 9 8
Seat change Decrease1 Increase 2
Popular vote 89,941 86,537
Percentage 50.04% 48.15%
Swing Decrease2.46pp Increase22.6pp

Chief Minister before election

Fabian Picardo
Socialist Labour

Elected Chief Minister

Fabian Picardo
Socialist Labour

General elections were held in Gibraltar on 12 October 2023 to elect all 17 members of the fifth Gibraltar Parliament.[2] This was the first election in Gibraltar's history to use an electronic voting count system. The GSLP–Liberal Alliance secured a fourth term in office, though it saw its majority reduced to one seat, whilst the GSD became the sole opposition party, gaining two seats (one from the Alliance and one from the non-contesting party, Together Gibraltar).

Background

On 24 August 2020 it was announced that Government MP and Minister, Gilbert Licudi, would resign as Minister and remain as MP backbencher. Later, on 17 July 2023, he announced he would step down for re-election as MP. On 14 June 2023 it was announced that Together Gibraltar leader and her party's sole MP, Marlene Hassan-Nahon (daughter of Hassans' founder & Gibraltar's first Mayor and Chief Minister, Sir Joshua Hassan), would not stand for the elections and would leave politics by then.[3] On 5 September 2023, ongoing negotiations between Together Gibraltar and the GSD to form an electoral pact were finally abandoned.[4] On 13 September 2023, it was announced that GSD MP, Elliott Phillips, would not stand for re-election and that Robert Vazquez will return as an independent MP candidate. On 15 September 2023, it was announced that Paul Balban, Albert Isola and Samantha Sacramento, Government MPs and Ministers, would not stand for re-election. On 16 September, it was announced that GSD MP, Daniel Feetham, would not stand for re-election. On 17 September, the GSLP have announced their new four candidates for the elections: Hassans' Legal Partner & Head of Financial Services, Nigel Feetham KC (brother of outgoing GSD MP, Daniel Feetham); former teacher and Miss Gibraltar 1974, Patricia Orfila; Director of the Gibraltar Academy of Music & Performing Arts (GAMPA) and former Mayor of Gibraltar, Christian Santos & Hassans' Legal Partner and Solicitor, Gemma Arias-Vasquez.

On 18 September, it was announced that Together Gibraltar would not contest the election. Interim Leader, Nicky Calamaro, said it was because of lack of support from the voters since Marlene's departure, resulting on TG to restart itself as a pressure group to regain trust of the people, but he didn't rule out the possibility of being an independent candidate. [5] On that same night, the GSD announced their 6 new candidates with 3x women (TSN's Senior Law Associate and Barrister & GSD's executive member and 2019 election candidate Joelle Ladislaus; RGP's ((Royal Gibraltar Police)) Senior Compliance Officer, Head of Special Needs Action Group ((SNAG)) and GSD executive, Atrish Sanchez and inaugural former Vice-Chancellor and CEO of University of Gibraltar, Daniella Tilbury); 1x Moroccan born-Gibraltarian Muslim male & GSD executive and Future member (Youseff El Hana); GSD executive (Formerly Together Gibraltar executive member) and candidate of TG in 2019 (Craig Sacarello) and chairman of GSD Future and Isolas' Law Associate, Giovanni Origo. On 19 September, it was announced that Liberal Party of Gibraltar MP and Minister, Steven Linares, would not stand for re-election, after 23 years of being an MP, and would be replaced by GHA's (Gibraltar Health Authority) Emergency Medical Technician, Leslie Bruzon of the same party.

On 14 September both businessman Allan Asquez and retired teacher Patricia Orfila put their names forward for GSLP executives to consider them as candidates. Allan said he had been motivated by issues including social housing and secure employment, especially for people with learning difficulties. However, on 17 September, shortly before the candidate selection process, he announced that he had withdrawn his application and left the party. Speaking on the 'Gibraltar Today' section on GBC's Radio Gibraltar, he alleged that he did what he did because the party's leader and Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, had allegedly conveyed to him that he did not want Allan to be selected and told the executive members not to vote for him, arguing that it broke the democratic process selection. He also alleged that if the executive members voted for him, Fabian Picardo would step down as party leader and/or Chief Minister. He also allegedly stated that he was threatened by Picardo that he would seek him as a backbencher rather than a minister if elected into Government.

On 21 September GSD candidate Youssef El Hana apologised, on GBC's Viewpoint, to Gibraltar's Jewish community for 'offensive language' used on social media from 2018, regarding national and religious conflicts between Palestine and Israel. Reacting to his apology, the Chair of the Charity, Learning from Auschwitz Gibraltar, Naomi Hassan-Weisfogel, said that he marched in the UK calling for the destruction of Israel in support of Palestine and that he had made these offensive posts for months, for which the march, Youseff denies.[6]

Timing and procedure

Under section 38(2) of the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006, the Parliament must be dissolved four years after its first meeting following the last election (unless the Chief Minister advises the Governor of Gibraltar to dissolve parliament sooner). Under section 37 of the Constitution, writs for a general election must be issued within thirty days of the dissolution and the general election must then be held no later than three months after the issuing of a writ.[7]

On 12 September 2023 Chief Minister Fabian Picardo formally asked Governor Sir David Steel to dissolve parliament and an election to take place on 12 October 2023.[8]

Opinion polls

Trend lines graph
Release date Publisher(s) Sample size GSLP/Libs GSD TG Ind. Split
vote
Blank/
not used
Don't know/
undecided
Lead Source
12 October 2023 GBC Exit Poll 1,403 48.8%

8

49.6%

9

1.6% 0.8% [9]
10 October 2023[a] Panorama 49.2%
9
48.7%
8
2.1% 0.5% [10]
9 October 2023[b] GBC/Chronicle 600 49.9%
8
48.3%
9
1.8% 9% 1.6% [11]
5 October 2023[a] GBC/Chronicle 600 48.65
8
49.18%
9
2.17% 18%[a] 0.53% [12]
17 September 2023[c] GBC 1,100 21.64% 23.72% 2.98% 12.26% 8.03% 31.38% 2.08% [13]
  1. ^ a b c No exact number of votes or sample size were mentioned in this particular poll or respective article. In this poll, the following candidates would not be elected (in the following order from higher to lower rankings): Giovanni Origo (GSD), Youssef El Hana (GSD), Vijay Daryanani (GSLP/Liberals), & Robert Vasquez (Independent)
  2. ^ In these polls published by the joint GBC/Chronicle, the following candidates would not be elected: Joe Bossano (GSLP/Liberals), Vijay Daryanani (GSLP/Liberals), Youssef El Hana (GSD), & Robert Vasquez (Independent).
  3. ^ Poll published prior to the official declaration of competing candidates

In the initial opinion poll by GBC (released on 17 September 2023), the issues likely to influence votes are reported as the following:[13]

  • Cost of Living (47.79%),
  • Health Care (45%),
  • EU Treaty (33.63%),
  • Economy (32.91%),
  • Housing (31.2%),
  • Cleanliness (24.17%),
  • Public Services (19.3%),
  • Family Life (17.58%),
  • Climate Change (17.13%),
  • Crime (15.06%),
  • Foreign Policy (14.79%),
  • Transport (12.62%),
  • McGrail Inquiry (12.26%),
  • Development (10.64%),
  • Diversity & Inclusion (4.24%)

Incumbent members (from 2019)

Candidate Party Seeking re-election?
Fabian Picardo GSLP Yes
Joseph Garcia LPG Yes
John Cortes GSLP Yes
Albert Isola GSLP No
Joseph Bossano GSLP Yes
Gilbert Licudi GSLP No
Steven Linares LPG No
Paul Balban GSLP No
Samantha Sacramento GSLP No
Vijay Daryanani LPG Yes
Marlene Hassan-Nahon TG No
Damon Bossino GSD Yes
Daniel Feetham GSD No
Keith Azopardi GSD Yes
Roy Clinton GSD Yes
Elliott Phillips GSD No
Edwin Reyes GSD Yes
Source: Parliament of Gibraltar

Parties and candidates

Party or alliance Ideology Current Seats Slogan Election Logo
GSLP/Libs Alliance Social Democracy, Social Liberalism 10 "Keep Gibraltar Safe"
GSD Liberal Conservatism, British Unionism 6 "Make The Change For A Bright Future"
Robert Vasquez Social Democracy N/A "Vote Vasquez Get FACTS (Fairness, Accountability, Community, Transparency, Stability)"

Results

Party or allianceVotes%Seats+/–
AllianceGibraltar Socialist Labour Party63,70035.4470
Liberal Party of Gibraltar26,24114.602–1
Total89,94150.049–1
Gibraltar Social Democrats86,53748.158+2
Independents3,2621.8100
Total179,740100.00170
Valid votes18,78497.55
Invalid/blank votes4722.45
Total votes19,256100.00
Registered voters/turnout25,20076.41
Source: Parliament, Chronicle

By candidate

Candidate Party Alliance Votes Notes
Joseph Garcia LPG GSLP–Liberal Alliance 9,852 Elected
Fabian Picardo GSLP GSLP–Liberal Alliance 9,844 Elected
Keith Azopardi GSD - 9,607 Elected
Damon Bossino GSD - 9,602 Elected
Nigel Feetham GSLP GSLP–Liberal Alliance 9,298 Elected
Gemma Arias-Vasquez GSLP GSLP–Liberal Alliance 9,280 Elected
John Cortes GSLP GSLP–Liberal Alliance 9,256 Elected
Roy Clinton GSD - 9,250 Elected
Craig Sacarello GSD - 9,068 Elected
Christian Santos GSLP GSLP–Liberal Alliance 8,947 Elected
Patricia Orfila GSLP GSLP–Liberal Alliance 8,729 Elected
Edwin Reyes GSD - 8,680 Elected
Joelle Ladislaus GSD - 8,601 Elected
Leslie Bruzon LPG GSLP–Liberal Alliance 8,457 Elected
Joseph Bossano GSLP GSLP–Liberal Alliance 8,346 Elected
Giovanni Origo GSD - 8,314 Elected
Atrish Sanchez GSD - 8,258 Elected
Daniella Tilbury GSD - 8,074
Vijay Daryanani LPG GSLP–Liberal Alliance 7,932 Unseated
Youseff El Hana GSD - 7,083
Robert Vasquez Independent - 3,262
Source: Parliament, Chronicle

References

  1. ^ a b "2019 election results" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  2. ^ "General Election called for 12th October". GBC. 12 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Marlene Hassan Nahon will not contest the next general election". www.gbc.gi. 14 June 2023. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  4. ^ Reyes, Brian (5 September 2023). "TG to present slate at election after GSD rules out alliance". The Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  5. ^ GBC News. Together Gibraltar will not contest general election. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  6. ^ GSD election candidate Youssef El Hana apologises to Gibraltar’s Jewish community for 'offensive language' - Learning from Auschwitz Chair calls his position dangerous & extreme, Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation, 21 September 2023
  7. ^ "Official text of the Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006" (PDF). gibraltarlaws.gov.gi. 14 December 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  8. ^ Peralta, Gabriella (12 September 2023). "Picardo puts Brexit centre stage as Gibraltar heads to polls on October 12 after 'toughest four years'". Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 20 September 2023.
  9. ^ Peralta, Gabriella (12 October 2023). "GBC exit poll tips thin 0.8% lead for GSD". The Gibraltar Chronicle. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  10. ^ "Las elecciones están demasiado reñidas para una predicción exacta: el sondeo da una ajustada victoria a los GSLP/Liberales – A056" (in Spanish). 10 October 2023. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  11. ^ "Latest poll: GSLP-Liberals to win on votes but fail to make it to government". Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Latest poll: GSD to win election with knife-edge margin of 0.5% and would govern with nine MPs not 10". Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  13. ^ a b GBC News. GBC Election Poll: Narrow lead for GSD but huge undecided vote holds balance of power. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
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