West Midlands Police Commissioners

Staffordshire Police Commissioner
2012 Result
Matthew Ellis (Conservative) 51237 51.8%
Joy Garner (Labour) 47589 48.2%
MAJORITY 3648 3.7%
Matthew Ellis (Conservative) Businessman. Staffordshire councillor since 2005
Joy Garner (Labour) Stoke-on-Trent councillor since 2002

Warwickshire Police Commissioner
2012 Result
James Plaskitt (Labour) 22308 34.7%
Ron Ball (Independent) 21410 33.3%
Fraser Pithie (Conservative) 20571 32%
MAJORITY 898 1.4%
Ron Ball (Independent) 33231 56.9%
James Plaskitt (Labour) 25200 43.1%
MAJORITY 8031 13.7%
Fraser Pithie (Conservative) Educated at Stratford High School. Former senior operations manager for Severn Trent Water. Former chair of Warwickshire police Authority. Warwickshire county councillor 1990-1997 for the Liberal Democrats
James Plaskitt (Labour) born 1954, Grimsby. Educated at Pilgrim School and Oxford University. Former university lecturer. Oxfordshire county councillor 1985-1997. Contested Witney 1992. MP for Warwick and Leamington Spa 1997-2010. Junior minister for work and pensions 2005-2008.
Ron Ball (Independent) Born Birmingham. Former British Airways pilot

West Mercia Police Commissioner
2012 Result
Bill Longmore (Independent) 50900 37.7%
Adrian Blackshaw (Conservative) 49298 36.6%
Simon Murphy (Labour) 34652 25.7%
MAJORITY 1602 1.2%
Bill Longmore (Independent) 71955 56.9%
Adrian Blackshaw (Conservative) 54499 43.1%
MAJORITY 17456 13.8%
Adrian Blackshaw (Conservative) Farmer, businessman and former Army Intelligence Officer. Hertfordshire councillor
Simon Murphy (Labour) Born 1962. Educated at University of Wales. Executive consultant. MEP for Midlands West 1994-1999, for the West Midlands 1999-2004. Contested Wolverhampton South West 1992.
Bill Longmore (Independent) Educated at Audnam Secondary Modern. Businessman and former police superintendent

West Midlands Police Commissioner
2012 Result
Bob Jones (Labour) 100130 42%
Matt Bennett (Conservative) 44130 18.5%
Cath Hannon (Independent) 30778 12.9%
Bill Etheridge (UKIP) 17563 7.4%
Derek Webley (Independent) 17488 7.3%
Ayoub Khan (Liberal Democrat) 15413 6.5%
Mike Rumble (Independent) 12882 5.4%
MAJORITY 56000 23.5%
Bob Jones (Labour) 117388 67.8%
Matt Bennett (Conservative) 55685 32.2%
MAJORITY 61703 35.7%
Matt Bennett (Conservative) Interim manager. Birmingham councillor 2008-2012
Bob Jones (Labour) Wolverhampton councillor since 1980. Former chair of West Midlands Police Authority. Awarded the CBE for services to policing
Ayoub Khan (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Duddeston Manor Secondary and Birmingham University. Barrister. Former Birmingham Councillor. Contested Birmingham Ladywood 2005, 2010.
Bill Etheridge (UKIP) Educated at Parkfield High School and Wolverhampton Polytechnic. Carer and former sales manager
Derek Webley (Independent) Bishop in the New Testament Church of God. Former Chair of West Midlands Police Authority. Awarded the MBE in 2007 for services to community relations.
Cath Hannon (Independent) Born Birmingham. Educated at Birmingham University. Former Detective Superintendent
Mike Rumble (Independent) Businessman and former detective
Comments - 53 Responses on “West Midlands PCCs”
  1. Sad to hear about the death of Bob Jones.

    Does this mean there will now be a by-election?

  2. Sad news – I heard he had a good reputation.

    Yes, there will be a by-election.

  3. According to this article – http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/01/death-west-midlands-pcc-bob-jones-trigger-byelection-35-days – a by-election has to be held within 35 days.

  4. Given that I think Labour will abolish them, it could be short-lived

  5. We need a monkey to stand…….

  6. The biggest thing we’ll be watching out for in this by election is he turnout. I’m predicting it will be less than 10%.

  7. It would stand to reason, Adam. However, that may not actually be the case. The first elections were held on a November, typically one of the very worst months for turnout and – if the lack of party campaigning my way is anything to go by – not much campaigning was done in this authority..

    At least an August election would be better than November. It all depends on whether the parties will actually put even some effort into this by-election. The original turnout here of 12.3% was no doubt suppressed by people who might otherwise have voted were it not for them having no candidate information. Even some effort by the parties might pick things up.

  8. Lowest turnout ever recorded was 8.5% at the Poplar South by-election 1942, a two-way race between Labour’s William Guy and an independent Christian Socialist. A safe seat with an out of date electoral register, many constituents away at war and no contest between the major parties were the major contributing factors.

    Let’s see if the good folk of the West Midlands can take that ignoble crown.

  9. I remember when it looked like the Surrey PCC might have had to resign, prompting a by-election again round November. Now that really would have challenged for the lowest turnout ever.

  10. By-election’s been set for August 21st.

    There was talk of trying to extend the election beyond the 35 working-day limit, though I find that peculiar as there seems to be no provision for that.


  11. I doubt that.

  12. Sorry, ignore last post – wrong thread.

  13. Going back to the subject of low turnouts, weren’t there some very low turnouts in some of the old welsh temperance referendums? I’ve tried looking online but it doesn’t look like any accurate records of these polls exist.

  14. David Jamieson selected as the Labour candidate for the PCC by-election. He was previously the MP for Plymouth Devonport, taking the seat in 1992 after David Owen stood down.

  15. Mr Nameless – I assume you mean Parliamentary by-elections? The lowest turnout ever recorded in a by-election was a ward in Liverpool in the late 1990s. Melrose: 6%. Liverpool also had the lowest in a normal council May election, with 9% in Central ward in 2008 (many of which were postal votes). Merseyside West European (proper & by-election) also had two polling stations where not a single voter turned up!

  16. Ayoub Khan, a barrister and former Birmingham Councillor, selected as Lib Dem candidate.

  17. Full list of candidates here: https://westmidlandspcc.pipeten.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Statement-of-Persons-Nominated-PCC-By-Election-2014.pdf

    So it’s the four big parties standing. I said earlier that we may actually see a better turnout on election day, if only the parties actually did some proper campaigning. Well, even for Jamieson who (barring the upsets that can come with low-turnout elections) is set to win, there isn’t any campaign news I can find. As a party member, I’ve heard nothing about what members can do to help.

    At this rate, we are heading towards a worse turnout. It was 12.3% in 2012. If the tempo of the campaign doesn’t improve, I’m thinking 9%. Any takers on other predictions?

  18. Police Commissioners are a good thing and give a more direct voice to the public to press for priorites in their areas that otherwise may not be taken as seriously, and in a very important area.

    An August election could be difficult for turnout – agreed.

    I think they will take hold and engage the public more, despite the efforts of the Lib Dems and Labour to undermine them with silly election times.
    In fact if they are that bad an idea, what the hell are they doing standing in them.

  19. The logic would be the same as it was back when Labour was anti-EU and supported abolition of the Lords – “we’d rather it wasn’t there at all, but while it is then better us than them”.

  20. Quite MrN. Just because my party doesn’t agree with PCCs, doesn’t mean we’re just going to let the Conservatives control police forces by us not standing.

  21. Prediction:
    Labour- 51%
    Conservatives- 26%
    UKIP- 19%
    Lib Dem- 4%

    Turnout: 9%

  22. Thankfully, a candidate booklet is being delivered to all voters, and all of them, bar the Liberal Democrat, now have a website. At least that will be an advance on the 2012 elections.

  23. Three days to go until the by-election. Anyone want to make a prediction on the turnout?

  24. 13%?

  25. 6%

  26. 8%

  27. The term of office of whoever is elected is only until May 2016.

    If Labour win the election they may have to expend considerable effort and parliamentary time to push through legislation to abolish PCCs and put in place other arrangements in time.

  28. What was the turnout in 2012?

  29. 11.96% I think last time. On that basis I will amend my turnout prediction to a mighty 5%.

  30. Thanks. It was so bad last time you sort of hope it might actually be better this time while knowing that in reality it’s likely to be even lower. The one positive aspect is that the weather should be a bit better in August compared to November.

  31. Cheers Andy. God you know when the weather has to be good to get people out things are really bad. Sadly the point of these elections is lost on so many, understandably I would say, that it’s chronically difficult to build up huge enthusiasm to want to vote for someone to represent you in the interests of combatting crime. Perhaps it’s maybe linked to continued distrust of the police forces in general, I don’t know. Or it could well be that politicising the forces is an idea that has been almost overwhelmingly met with indifference in the UK.

  32. And an exceptionally low turn out will only give me another reason to believe that PCC’s are a bad idea. People just aren’t interested in the technical, administrative side of how police forces are run. It’s a job that was done perfectly well by councillors on police authorities if you ask me.

  33. Yes exactly can’t disagree with that TBH. I think the shockingly low turnouts are the verdict in themselves on what people think of the whole concept of the commissioners and many were probably so used to thinking of the police for donkey’s years in decidedly neutral nonpolitical terms, that these elections were met with such disinterest from day one because of the historical running of the police.

    Indeed also RE councillors, who with their own detailed knowledge of police forces could still be as effective as they were on the authorities, I think if the old system was still in place everyone would be happier by the looks of things.

  34. If the government still thinks councillors are good enough to run other strategic services like transport authorities and the fire service, why not the police? If like to see councillors have a role in running the NHS again in place of the unaccountable CCG’s.

    If we keep applying the logic of PCC’s to other public services then well end up with the Anerican system of having directly elected school board chairmen and district attorneys. I think that would be a real shame because I believe elections should always be faught on a rage of issues. If you’re electing someone who’s only going to be running one public service, they’re always going to argue that their service is more deserving of public funds than other public services. And that creates big problems when police commissioners, fire commissioners, transport commissioners etc are all saying the same thing. And the public aren’t going to agree to big council tax increases to keep them all happy.

  35. Yes therein lies another problem. These types of positions are by and large single issue based, as you’ve said, electively thereby restricting what the elected candidates can and can’t do on behalf of the (few) people who have voted for them.

    If we were to go down the American route of electing everyone and anyone, heaven knows what on Earth would happen. At least if you’re a councillor your job is never boring and there’s all kinds of issues to deal with. But if you’re a PCC your responsibilities are limited to the field of crime prevention and police management I think.

  36. The turnout in 2012 was actually 12.3%. I know, a mighty difference! Though TR got his figure because near 7,000 votes were invalid votes.

  37. Lots of people voted, I think that’s great for democracy.

  38. I’m going to be brave and say 10%. The big thing is a candidate booklet was sent out to all voters this time, an improvement on 2012 when that didn’t happen. There must be some voters, who were otherwise interested in voting, who didn’t because they knew nothing about the candidates.

  39. Results should be released sometime tomorrow afternoon.

  40. There have been the giddy heights of 133 tweets about this by-election. I’d wager fewer than many lower-level council by-elections.

  41. Well no, council by-elections draw far less Twitter attention, but we take your point. I’ve been following the #wmpcc trend on Twitter, and there’s nothing so far that changes our consensus that it will be a lower turnout.

  42. My insomnia strikes again!

    But at least it got me to check the latest news. The provisional turnout figure is 10.6%

    Yes, lower than 2012’s 12.3%, but above all the predictions here, including the highest one (my own) of 10%. The fact a by-election focused party minds into actually doing some campaigning – but more importantly a candidate booklet being delivered – must surely have prevented the turnout from being even worse.

  43. Jamieson (Lab) 102,561 (50.8%)
    Jones (C) 54,091 (26.8%)
    Rowe (UKIP) 32,187 (16.0%)
    Khan (L Dem) 12,950 (6.4%)

  44. That’s surprised me. I thought turnout might be around the 5% mark. I thought that Labour would hold, but didn’t think they’d do it on first preference votes alone. Might it be because Labour are better at getting they’re core vote out?

  45. Apparently postal votes contributed a lot – which makes sense, they’re much easier to get out. Two polling stations on the day recorded 1% turnout.

  46. Good result here for Labour to win on first preferences.

  47. Lots of news on the WM Mayoral race today. This morning Liam Byrne and Andy Street were interviewed by Sophie Ridge. Liam sounding very bullish. Sophie said ‘you should be able to win this contest easily surely’ to which he appeared to agree with her and say feedback from the voters is very good i think we’re going to do great. Andy Street very on fence the normal it’s going to be close, etc.

    A poll has now been released by electoral calculus and a new firm who have sign up respondents. Atm its 48 Byrne 52 Street. Lastly Bastani has tweeted today saying Labour worried about WM PCC too. Which ofc the obvious answer is well he would say that but tbf if Labour do lose the mayoralty the PCC surely would be close too. Correct me if the boundaries are radically different.

    So far I’ve heard we might lose the Leicestershire PCC and Tories might be able to push Labour down enough for a run off in the South Yorkshire PCC. Tbf that wouldn’t be a huge surprise as the Sheffield City Region Mayoralty was a run off in 2018. I think county elections and lack of metro borough elections are hurting Labour in mayors and pccs.

    I heard Liams old campaign manager describe this race as 50/50 so I’m tempted to believe that it’s closer than Liam wants to let on. I don’t personally understand why he’s said what he’s said. Even if you are doing well you down play it. It doesn’t motivate your base if you are doing well and it motivates your opposition. You also play up expectation. Labour did this in 2018 and despite the largest haul of seats in London ever people pointed to Wandsworth and Barnet as failures.

    I remember a lib dem in 2012 calling voters saying don’t bother voting its bad weather and ive got it in the bag. He lost heavily

  48. I thought that Andy Street was the favourite to be re-elected. I think I read that was what internal Labour polling found. Although turnout was so low last time that maybe if Labour can get its voters out, they can take the mayoralty.

  49. It’s very odd that Street is 1/3 on favourite and good odds to be had on Byrne. UNS should make this easy for Byrne compared to 2017 where Labour was about 17 points behind on national polling while perhaps 8 behind now.

    And yes- expectation management ought to be the order of the day for Labour.

    Are Labour going to get its voters out? I’d say there was currently more reason for Tory voters to feel good about things and also with limited campaigning you’d expect their inbuilt advantage in postal votes to help Tories.

  50. But Street does have the advantage of incumbency. Also, Labour were leading in all the polls at the time of the 2012 local elections, yet still lost the London mayoralty again, to a certain Boris Johnson (also an incumbent). Birmingham (Labour majority), Sandwell (Labour maj) and Coventry (Labour maj) are mostly solid Labour, but there is Tory strength in Dudley (Tory minority council), Walsall (Tory majority council), Wolverhampton (Labour majority but Tory MPs) and Solihull (Tory maj). The boundaries appear to be the same as the West Midlands county, which had the Tories (44.4%) only 3,000 votes ahead of Labour (44.1%) at the 2019 GE. In theory, Labour should be able to peel off a lot of Lib Dem and Green voters who weren’t keen on Corbyn, especially given the runoff voting system. Then again, Street may have cross-party support and a personal vote.

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