The Chief Minister is the head of government in both Guernsey and Jersey elected by secret ballot in the respective States.
The post was created by reforms at the beginning of the 21st century to change the machinery of government from a system of committees to a Council of Ministers/Policy Council under a Chief Minister. Although the systems are broadly similar in the two islands, there are some distinct differences. The Jersey council is somewhat closer to a cabinet system, whereas the Guernsey council has no executive powers and exists mainly for co-ordinating the policies of the various ministries.
The first Chief Minister of Jersey was elected to head the Council of Ministers on 5 December 2005 following the triennial elections.
Two candidates were nominated on 1 December 2005:
- Senator Stuart Syvret
- Senator Frank Walker
In a ballot on Monday, 5 December, the States elected Senator Walker to be the first Chief Minister, with 38 votes to Senator Syvret's 14.
Senator Terry Le Sueur was elected Chief Minister on 8 December 2008 following the election.
The States of Jersey voted for Senator Le Sueur with 36 votes. His challenger, Senator Alan Breckon, received 17 votes.
The current Chief Minister, elected on 14 November 2011 following the general election, is Senator Ian Gorst. He defeated former Bailiff, Senator Sir Philip Bailhache by 27 votes to 24. Senator Gorst was re-elected unopposed after the 2014 general election, in which he topped the poll.
The Chief Minister of Guernsey chairs the Policy Council, which consists of the heads of each of the ten government departments of the States of Guernsey. The current postholder is Deputy Lyndon Trott who was voted in on 1 May, 2008. His term of office expires on April 30, 2012.
This post was created following the Machinery of Government review which came into effect on 1 May 2004. The first post holder was Deputy Laurie Morgan, who was elected by the States of Guernsey in their first meeting of May 2004 and beat Deputy Bernard Flouquet, who was elected Deputy Chief Minister, and Deputy Mike Torode.
After the resignation of the Policy Council, the election of a new Chief Minister to replace Deputy Morgan took place at a meeting of the States of Guernsey on 5 March 2007. Four candidates contested the position: Deputies Jonathan Le Tocq, Bernard Flouquet, Mike Torode and Peter Roffey. In the final round of voting Deputy Mike Torode beat Deputy Peter Roffey by 24 votes to 22.
Deputy Torode did not seek re-election in 2008, and Deputy Lyndon Trott was elected, defeating Bernard Flouquet, Al Brouard, Hunter Adam, Carla McNulty Bauer and David de Lisle.