Looking at local newspaper feeds, twitter feeds of reporters on the ground and so on here is what I can make out so far…

WILTSHIRE and DYFED-POWYS have both declared and were both won by the Conservatives.

BEDFORDSHIRE has gone to a second round between the Conservatives and Labour, pretty much neck and neck and the moment. Ind, Lib Dem and British Freedom second preferences to be reallocated.

CLEVELAND has gone to a second round between the Conservatives and Labour. Green and Independent 2nd preferences to be reallocated.

DORSET is reported to have an independent in first place so far.

ESSEX has gone to a second round between the Conservatives and an Independent. The Conservatives have a lead of 10,000 or so votes, but there are lots to be redistributed, including Labour, a second independent and UKIP.

GWENT’s first round was won by an Independent, Ian Johnston, and has gone to a second round

KENT is still counting, but the former Independent chair of the police authority Ann Barnes is ahead on the first round and looks set to win

MERSEYSIDE should be ready to declare shortly, Labour have won easily on first preferences.

NORTH WALES has gone to a second round between Labour and an Independent

NORTHUMBRIA hasn’t quite declared yet, but has been easily won by Labour. They have declared now and Vera Baird has indeed won comfortably on the first round.

SOUTH YORKSHIRE has apparently been won by Labour on the first round, but no figures yet

SUFFOLK has gone to a second round with Labour and the Conservatives absolutely neck and neck, there are votes from UKIP and an Independent to be redistributed.

WEST MIDLANDS has gone to a second round, but Labour’s first round lead looks unassailable.

UPDATE: Labour have won Corby with a 22% lead, so the Populus(?) poll by Lord Ashcroft got the lead correct. It is a swing of around about 12.7%, so significantly better than the national polling position, which is currently showing a swing of around about 8.5%.


412 Responses to “PCC Update – the situation so far”

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  1. Also does anybody know if we’re going to get full second-preference results from these elections?
    I.e when people voted Lab1st-Ind2nd, Ind1-Con2nd, etc?

    Unless they’re up somewhere and I’ve missed them.

  2. I don’t think that a low turnout necessarily means the result is undemocratic. An abstention from a strike vote doesn’t mean you are pro- or anti-.

    But we have to worry if lots of people don’t vote or spoil their ballots BECAUSE they don’t want the change to happen at all.

  3. I am tending to think this “surge of the independents” is something specific to the PCC job, seeing as so many are former policemen/judges/magistrates etc.

    We don’t usually pick other policitians largely because they ran a country somewhere else.

    Or could there be some disillusionment with the usual suspects?

  4. I think it’s a gross assumption, and patronising piffle to boot, to think that the 85% of the electorate who gave these elections a miss, and the significant number of the 15% turnout who spoilt their papers, did so because they weren’t informed enough about the candidates and the PCC role. Most of the people I spoke to knew only too well what was going on and what it was all about and their deliberate non-participation was the loudest democratic statement from these elections by a country mile.

    Apparently, according to the BBC, the turnout on Thursday was the lowest in our peacetime history.

    Complete and utter farce.

  5. While the turnout for the PCC elections was exceptionally low, the gradual continual drop in electoral turnout needs to be addressed to ensure the legitimacy of the UK’s democratic institutions.
    A combination of the following should help:
    a) hold all elections (other than by-elections caused by the death or serious illness of the elected representative) on a Saturday in June from 0700 to 2200, i.e. not a weekday or Sunday (the UK’s official “rest day”), and when daylight hours are longest.
    b) re-organise the electoral registration calendar and system, with the new register becoming effective on 1st June each year and each individual registering separately rather than being registered by the head of the household.
    c) forbid elected representatives from resigning their office at a time of their own choosing except by reason of incapacity/illness/death/disqualification and mandate that otherwise they can only resign their post with effect from 1st June each year, to coincide with the electoral cycle. The behaviour of MPs like L.Mensch, D.McShane, N.Dorries and C.Huhne brings elected institutions into disrepute.
    d) make voting compulsory, with failure to vote in 3 successive June elections punishable by a large fine and loss of UK citizenship and benefit entitlements (i.e. 3 strikes and out).
    e) only permit postal votes for those who are ill or infirm and who therefore would have difficulty in voting in person, because of the widespread abuse of this way of voting.
    f) make presentation of at least 2 forms of ID compulsory at polling stations to minimise voter impersonation – merely asking the voter to confirm the name and address as written on “their” polling card (as I was asked on Thursday) is a ludicrous identity check.

  6. “We don’t usually pick other policitians largely because they ran a country somewhere else.”
    Sounds like a cunning plan – ask Obama, in 2014, to run for parliament and let parliament then elect him prime minister. I like your thinking.

    “But we have to worry if lots of people don’t vote or spoil their ballots BECAUSE they don’t want the change to happen at all.”
    But that doesn’t make these results less democratic than the police authority system that came before.
    You’re effectively speculating that given a direct choice between elected PCCs and an unelected police authority that people would’ve picked the unelected police authority.
    Perhaps the public would have preferred a third option – an elected police authority, but that doesn’t mean that this is ‘less democratic’ which is the part of your argument that I have the problem with.

    The elections weren’t administered properly and we should have had a referendum – I completely agree – but the central point is the level of democracy.

    Structurally the PCC system is more democratic than the old system.
    Whether people wanted the PCC system over others is a different question altogether, one that we won’t know because we didn’t have a referendum.

    (Question – what would have happened if we would have had a referendum, where people voted for the PCCs but it had low-turnout and a high level of spoiled ballots?)

  7. “Most of the people I spoke to knew only too well what was going on and what it was all about and their deliberate non-participation was the loudest democratic statement from these elections by a country mile.”
    Most of the people I spoke to did wanted to vote but didn’t know what they were voting for.

    Anecdote For – 1, Anecdote Against – 1.
    Perhaps we should wait for polling?

  8. “did wanted to vote”
    Should read either “did want to vote” or just “wanted to vote”, obviously.

  9. I didn’t vote. But I would have voted if any of our local candidates had promised an effective complaints system to replace the existing fob-off and whitewash setup.

  10. DAODAO
    “make presentation of at least 2 forms of ID compulsory at polling stations”
    Are you going to introduce an ID card system or disenfranchise those without ID?

    “loss of UK citizenship”
    This one I find a bit worrying – citizenship shouldn’t be something that the government can just ‘take away’ from you.
    It calls in to question the whole basis of government – where the state exists because we consent to it’s existence.
    We also might have to leave the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

  11. @Paul Croft

    I cannot remember ever seeing any truly dispassionate posts on this website.
    I think it was a worrying day for all three parties. The electorate is certaily turned off politics at the moment

  12. Ermm

    Just wondering about the number of spoilt ballots, people here are assuming it was deliberate and I’m sure that at least some of them were. But there is unfortunately another explanation, which I hesitate to mention but in the interest of balance I feel I must…

    Could it be that the English electorate is too thick to understand this preferential vote system???? I know the Tories made this point subtly during the AV campaign and I rubbished the idea, however we do seem to have strong evidence that the English are significantly less intelligent than their Irish or Scottish brethren

  13. @ TingedFringe

    I was merely putting forward some suggestions for discussion as to how to increase valid electoral turnout and was aware that some of them had a whiff of authoritarianism.

    @ Richard in Norway

    You may be right – I would have put 1 and 2 against my 2 choices of candidates last Thursday if I hadn’t checked how to fill in the ballot paper before voting with the election official. Fortunately, he was only too happy to explain how to vote to me as there were no other voters waiting.

  14. Tinged.

    Clearly some analysis of the reason for the low turnout is appropriate-though I don’t see the clamour to understand why Man Centrl voters didn’t turn out in their BE.

    And my personal impression is the same as yours, that people weren’t sure about the candidates & therefore wouldn’t commit. If this is the case that is a good sign in my book. But it does mean that the failure to fund hard copy material to voters was a factor.
    I cannot escape the feeling that overt party political allegiance & the feeling of yet another political election, was offputting.
    I hope we will find out by some means.

    May I say how much I agree with your views on this in your posts this morning, and that it has restored some personal faith for me, to read a man of the left so willing to express them.

  15. @Daodao – “b) re-organise the electoral registration calendar and system, with the new register becoming effective on 1st June each year and each individual registering separately rather than being registered by the head of the household.”

    I understood that individual registration is already going to happen, and all this will do is shift lots of people off the register. In doing this, it may technically increase turnover, but it won’t increase votes.

    Most independent people see this as being a poor thing to do, as it will shrink the electoral register. Most of those dropping off the list are predicted to be from poorer (Labour voting) backgrounds. As this measure is being proposed by Tory government, some people may be suspicious about why it is being done.

  16. Regards the low vote in the PCC and Manchester It’s more likely to be public apathy, in the I’ve got something better to do, than any like or dislike for PCC’s at the moment the act of voting requires a small effort to put yourself out to vote, the urge to actually vote for anything that seems a local issue seems to have fallen away with almost the same low figures for some Council elections.
    Sadly we live in a world were the job of Politician has been so undermined by the relentless search for bad news in the media we forget that Politic’s govern most aspects of our lives and it’s in are own interests to vote.
    Perhaps every home should have a set of buttons on the TV remote that we could use to vote or abstain.

  17. RiN

    Why would spoiled ballot papers indicate uncertainty?

    It wasn’t mandatory to use the second preference. I didn’t.

    And why should “intelligence” be a factor.

    Voters in general are not students of political theory.

    Such things as perceived simplicity & lack of uneccessary complexity might be factors in a traditional liking for FPTP might they not?

    Does this signify lack of intelligence?

    Is utter boredom with voting a function of intellectual ability ?

    Have there been any polls to establish whether those voting by ranked or proportional systems actually understand how they are using their vote, and what it’s outcome will be ?

    Let us speculate that many don’t-what would that say about those voters?

    As I say-if PCC voters did not express a choice , because they felt a lack of information about the candidates on offer-that is most definitely a sign of intelligence .

    There are countries where voting by rote & 99% turnouts are the norm.

  18. Alec – “Most independent people see this as being a poor thing to do […] As this measure is being proposed by Tory government, some people may be suspicious about why it is being done.”

    Individual Electoral Registration was originally recommended by the Electoral Commission in 2003. The then Labour government accepted this and passed legislation implementing it in 2009 (and continue to support Individual Electoral Registration). The government legislation currently stalled in the Lords only serves to speed up the adoption of the change.

  19. @daodao

    Putting 1 and 2 probably wouldn’t have spoilt your ballot, it would have been a clear indication of choice and counted. Usually there are very few spoilt ballots resulting from voter error, most come from deliberately marking a ballot in a way that indicates dissatisfaction. Voter error would include x by multiple candidates in the first line, or signi the ballot.

    Often you see disatisfaction with the candidates. But here there are clear indications of people venting their frustration at an election they did not want (one teller reported a considerable essay about the wrongness of the situation: impressive given the space on the ballot).

  20. At 12.18 pm yesterday, long before most of the results had been declared, I wrote the following “Am I being cynical in thinking that the Tories belive that in a low poll their supporters will still be voting and therefore they have a greater likelihood of returning a conservative PCC. An increase in influence in policing will contrast with losing influence in parliamentary and local elections.”

    While @Alec doubted this, I would suggest that the final result of Tory 16 vs Lab 13 supports my cynicism. These figures fly in the face of all the other data – eg. Con 10% behind in the polls, being hammered in Corby. In addition, I suspect that more than 50% of the independants lean to the right.

    A cunning move by the Tories methinks.

  21. @AW

    However, the combination of individual registration *and* the removal of an obligation to register (and on the authorities to chase this up) was a problem.

    The electoral reform society is rightly concerned about this, especially with the link of constituencies to registered voters: http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/IER/

  22. TOH:

    “Dispassionate”

    I was actually referring to outside analysts who almost universally doubt the possibility of the Tories winning a majority in 2015.

    I don’t particularly like this govt but I feel I am dispassionate when I try to analyse what may happen:

    1/ I think Tories are hanging on to their core vote surprisingly well in opinion polls but history tells us that, even with the return of most UKIP supporters, they are unlikely to incrteas their 2010 vote in 2015 – history, not prejudice.

    and

    2/ The LD vote has streamed over to Labour and it is hard to see it going back – and virtually impossible to see it going Tory.

    That would please me but it is an objective analysis and if the facts pointed the other way I’d say that. Before 2010 I predicted that Cons would not win an overall majority but would be largest party. At the very least I see Labour as the largest party and quite probably with an OM.

    Paul

  23. The Scottish Government has a healthy public approval rating, according to our latest Scottish Public Opinion Monitor, conducted last month.

    Over half of Scots (54%) are satisfied with the way the Scottish Government is running the country compared to 39% who are dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction rating of +15%. This is in stark contrast to the UK Government’s net satisfaction rating of -40% among voters across Britain.

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3077/The-majority-of-Scots-are-satisfied-with-the-Scottish-Government.aspx

    :)

  24. @TingeFringe

    Of course it’s anecdotal, but it’s better than wishful thinking and assumption in the absence of scientific data, isn’t it?

    I have great faith in the British electorate and I think, while there are all sorts of different reasons why some people abstain, and ignorance may well be one of them, the usual reason why 85% of people don’t participate in an election is that they can sense pointlessness a mile off.

    Anyway, I’m about to launch a local campaign for elected Refuse Collectors. I’ve had enough of these unaccountable rogues turning up at whatever times suit them, quite often waking me up in the process. Who the hell do they think they are and, what’s more, who on earth do they think they’re accountable to. I pay council tax, yet these people are riding roughshod over my……………………………………………

    lol

  25. I am very pleased to see that so many independents were elected and that the parties did not do as well as anticipated. I don’t see low turnout a problem (it never is in union votes). Those who are apathetic obviously don’t have an interest in the outcome but of course, they can’t then complain about the result. I suspect that interest & therefore voting levels will increase over time depending on which people are effective & which are not. Either way, it will be much higher profile next time, I suspect as those elected are seen to succeed or fail, by the press. I am of course happy to see that only commoners were elected and that the nobility hopeful failed.

  26. @PETER BELL

    Charles Moore in The Telegraph writes that the Lib Dems requested that the PCC elections are not clubbed together with council elections as they believed it will reduce their votes.

    The Conservatives may have benefited from being `the law and order ` party as well as Labour types more inclined to stay away from an `imposed,unwanted` election.

  27. CB11

    How far do you think we could take this, could we vote on lollypop ladies??? I feel that they are not as attractive as they might be, if they were elected we might get some more shapely legs(ie absent the varicose veins) just a thought

  28. @Paul Croft

    Thanks for your reply. I think your analysis is probably correct at the moment but we have along time to the election.

    If at the time of the next election the economy is doing better than now and better than the rest of Europe I cannot see the electorate voting in a Labour Government.

    Of course if the economy is no better and Europe has recovered the the reverse will be true.

  29. It’s possible that because the coalition has united the left-of-centre anti-Tory vote which seems to be approaching 40% of those that vote, because of those unique circumstances, no matter happens Labour are going to win the next election.

  30. On the Line of reporting the facts that make you feel better.On what was clearly a comprehensively bad day for the Conservatives with the only election with a reasonable turnout in Corby indicating significant improvement for Labour .

    The Right Wing Media decided that the news of the day was the defeat for Lord Prescott ( I understand by the demographics of the area )He did well to get close).
    Possibly Prescott lost on the basis of being the only candidate anyone had heard of before.

    Not the 87% of People who didn’t vote in the PCC or the the swing to labour of 13%

  31. @NICKP

    Is it also possible that the left of centre vote is uniting because the governing right of centre party is rubbish?

  32. @CrossBat11

    It’s down to you whether you have waste or not. You could recycle, compost, use less. Get on a bike and save petrol.

  33. smukesh

    Yes.

  34. nick

    this is my point that i keep repeating. if the ld move to labour is as fixed as it appears – and one also has to take into account their loss of councillors and support system – the the tories appear doomed.

    labour would need to implode to lose this chance and they show no signs of doind so

    the economy is a red herring because labour will be trusted to distribute more fairly

    cameron can never be as attractive to the electorate as he was in 2010 – clegg most certainly can’t – and anyone relacing dc would, in all likelihood be worse.

    only possible route is clegg removed and ld’s becoming oint opposition with a different leader…. hard to see that though.

  35. typos cos holding new puppy in one hand

  36. Looking ahead to tomorrow (Sunday), I wish I could bet on the YouGov Sunday Times poll being between 4 and 7 points for Labour.

  37. @RinN

    “How far do you think we could take this, could we vote on lollypop ladies??? I feel that they are not as attractive as they might be, if they were elected we might get some more shapely legs(ie absent the varicose veins) just a thought”

    Lol. Ah yes, the democratic credentials of lollypop ladies. I’ve wondered about their accountability for some time and have often thought that a Lollypop Ladies Commissioner (LLC) might sharpen up their act a little. I mean, when they brazenly step out into the road, thereby stopping law-abiding and council tax paying citizens like me going about my lawful daily business, who is actually holding them to account for their obstructive actions? It’s part of the democratic deficit, I suppose. Let’s get voting for better Lollypop Ladies!

    I thought Keith Vaz made a good point about these farcical PCC elections. He was speculating about a conversation that the Chief Constable may have with his or her Police and Crime Commissioner some time in the future, probably over canapes at the local Golf Club Annual Dinner, or even at a Masonic Lodge meeting, perhaps. There’s been some conflict or disagreement over a local policing or crime issue. The Chief Constable is not a happy bunny. Chief Constable to Police Commissioner; “What part of the mandate that you got from 5.9% of the electorate is telling me that I have to pay much attention to what the hell you think about this or that?”

    It does make you think, doesn’t it? We’ve created the worst of both worlds here. Meaningless roles populated by impotent party placemen with little or no democratic legitimacy. It doesn’t get much worse than that, does it, although I suppose the £65k to 100k per year salary will come in handy and boost the retirement nest egg a fair bit.

  38. Paul Croft
    “the economy is a red herring because labour will be trusted to distribute more fairly”

    Using their period in office from 1997-2010 as an example of course, during which period, the gap between rich and poor widened significantly and the number of young, long term unemployed exploded.

    ‘The economy is a red herring’…Do you seriously believe that? You are being ironic surely?

  39. @GRACIE
    You could ask the bookmakers for odds.

    @AW
    You seem to have predicted the low turnout well despite Youguv having 28% certain to vote in the PCC elections.Seems half of them din`t turn up at the polling booth for various reasons detailed in your blog.

  40. Where is this centre left party folk keep referring to? As far as I can see we have four right of centre parties with ukip possibly being the farthest from the centre. Respect is neither centre left nor relevant. The greens could be considered centre left at a stretch but again they are unfortunately irrelevant at this moment in time.

  41. RiN

    It’s not the parties but the voters who are centre left (at least 40% I’d estimate). And they don’t like Tories.

    Whether they are well served by Labour or not is another matter. But it’s been observed many times before that many people are more likely to vote AGAINST a party than for one.

  42. ” Meaningless roles populated by impotent party placemen with little or no democratic legitimacy.”

    Couldn’t have summed up the late unlamented , unknown , Police Authorities better myself .

  43. RIP Martin Fay.

    Thank you so much for the music.

  44. Robert N:

    I certainly take your point but ….

    1/ That was Blair/Brown and next time will be Miliband – I am hoping he will see things differently

    2/ I said “trust them MORE” – in other words compared to the Tories but I didn’t say they actually WOULD.

    So not irony but a mixture of reality and pessimism and optimism.

    I don’t think LD’s will get any credit at all for lower taxes as that is buried in frozen pay and redundancies and I am hoping that Labour will realise that morally and politically they absolutely have to offer something better than what has gone before. These expoding differentials just can’t be allowed to continue in my view.

  45. Is it me, or has the media coverage on the Corby result been very muted? I know it’s impossible to draw too many conclusions based on a mid-term bi-election that any opposition party should take very comfortably, but still….good result for Labour.

    Maybe it was very clever of DC and the Tories to have the bi-elections at the same time as the elections for the elected police commissioners? It does, in the very least, seem to have deflected most of the media coverage away from Corby and towards the low turnout/results elsewhere.

  46. I am prepared to put myself forward for School Crossing Ladies supremo for Barnard Castle on three conditions:

    1/ I am referred to as “Lollipop Ladies’ Czar”

    2/ I don’t have to get up

    3/ I don’t have to meet [or see] school children.

  47. Nick p

    Sorry about that, I’m just going through my usual depression that there is no alternative on offer and indeed the real problems we face are not even being talked about. Been reading Michael Hudson’s book the bubble and beyond, its very good so far, definitely one to recommend, one of things that make this all so depressing is that the nature of at least our debt problem has been known for at least 4 thousand years, but still no political party, here or aboard is willing to recognize it or propose real solutions. The demographic and resource depletion problems are more difficult to fix, no wonder they are also being ignored

  48. @NickP,

    Actually, as Peter Kellner found in one of his articles not too long ago, most of the British public are far from left-wing in most of their views (with the exception of taxing the rich)….particularly on many areas of justice and social policy. As he explained, the Tory’s problem is not the political leanings/views of the British public at all, but the party’s image, particularly with those in northern England, Scotland and Wales.

  49. @” the nature of at least our debt problem has been known for at least 4 thousand years,”

    Yes-and I feel sure Cameron will remind people of this consistent record of Labour failure.

  50. Colin:

    “…… consistent………………Labour………..”

    Nice to see a bit of balance in your quotes.

    Arsenal 3-1 up against the evil Spurs: Madebayor sent off. My puppy is lovely. All is well.

    Have just been contacted by Barney Town Council re Lollipop Ladies Czar and am considering the package being offered. If it just involves looking out the window occasionally I may well take it.

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