Senator Ian Gorst is Jersey's new chief minister. The former social security minister beat Sir Philip Bailhache by just three votes in an election in the States chamber. Gorst won 27 votes in an open ballot of States members and Bailhache secured 24 votes. Gorst will lead the assembly for the next three years. It was the first time the votes have taken place in an open ballot.

Gorst is Jersey's third chief minister, and takes over from senator Terry Le Sueur, who is retiring from politics and did not stand at the general election last month.

Gorst won with a narrow margin over the popular Bailhache who was voted back into the States as senator by an overwhelming majority in an island-wide general election in mid-October.

Bailhache has been in public office in Jersey almost all his working his life. He was Bailiff of the island from 1995-2009, an office which combines the role of chief justice and president of the legislature or States assembly, as well as having some residual executive functions. During his time if office Bailhache was responsible for changes to the constitution, as well as calling for modifications in the relationship between Jersey and the United Kingdom government. It is known that he wanted to take this reform process further had he been voted in as chief minister.

The States will return on Thursday to choose ministers and heads of committee.

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