SIX out of the seven candidates for this month’s Legislative Council election have never secured a public mandate.
Four seats are up for grabs in the LegCo elections that take place on March 18.
Seven nominations have been received.
They include two MLCs who are seeking re-election - Juan Turner (nominated by Education Minister and Peel MHK Tim Crookall) and Tony Wild (nominated by Douglas North MHK Johh Houghton). Neither have been directly elected by the public.
Douglas West MHK Geoff Corkish is the only candidate who has won a public vote. He has been nominated by Juan Watterson, the Home Affairs Minister and an MHK for Rushen.
The other nominees have all stood unsuccessfully for election to the House of Keys.
They are Linda Bowers-Kasch, nominated by Liberal Vannin leader Peter Karran MHK (Onchan); Michael Coleman, nominated by Infrastructure Minister and Manx Labour Party MHK for Douglas South David Cretney; former police officer Peter Hill, nominated by Mr Karran and Nigel Malpass, nominated by Chief Minister Allan Bell (Ramsey).
Mrs Bowers-Kasch stood unsuccessfully for Lib Vannin in Ramsey in the 2011 general election. Mr Hill was the party’s candidate in Douglas North. Nigel Malpass is the chairman of Ramsey Commissioners. He stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for Liberal Vannin in 2006. Mr Coleman stood unsuccessfully for the Manx Labour Party in Douglas North in 2006
Two of the four MLCs whose term of office ended on February 28 have now retired – veteran politician Eddie Lowey and David Callister, the latter always saying he would sit for just one term but who failed to achieve his goal of reforming LegCo to make it a directly elected chamber.
Candidates have to secure 13 votes to be elected to the upper house. Following changes to the voting system, a series of ballots can be held in one sitting until all vacancies have been filled. MHKs can nominate from the floor after the first ballot. If all vacancies have not been filled at the end of the sitting, the Speaker can call for fresh nominations and a further election would be held six weeks’ later.
Chief Minister Allan Bell said he thought it unlikely the four vacancies will be filled after the first ballot – and he suspected other MHKs may put their names forward in subsequent rounds.
He said: ‘To be successful a candidate needs to get 13 votes out 24 - it is not sufficient just to have a majority. With seven candidates coming forward, those votes are clearly going to be split. I think it’s unlikely the four seats will be filled in the first round because members vote tactically.
‘Some MHKs will not put their names forward now as they will not want to risk losing on the first round. They will want to see the lie of the land on the second or possible third ballots. I am not aware of particular MHKs but as happened in the past we might well see a slightly different line-up in subsequent ballots.’