After a marathon count, that lasted a good twelve hours or more, Devon and Cornwall’s Police Commissioner was duly elected. The winner to this lofty position is Tony Hogg; ex-RN man and Conservative. So congratulations to Commissioner Hogg for being elected
The numbers behind the election are pretty poor, with only 196,987 (15%) of voters taking part in the election. The two candidates with the most first round votes having to face off with each other because not one candidate got 51% of the first round votes. There numbers are:
Candidate First preferences Second preferences Total
Tony Hogg 55257 14162 69419
Brian Greenslade 24719 12524 37243
As for the other candidates, this is how they faired in the first round:
Nichola Jane Williams, Labour – 24196; Brian Samuel Blake, Liberal Democrats – 23948; Robert Lee Smith, UK Independence Party – 16433; Ivan James Jordan, Independent – 12382; William Morris, Independent – 10586; John Noel Smith, Independent – 10171; Graham David Calderwood, Independent – 8667; Thomas Macpherson, Independent – 4306
The low turnout is worrying, but also is the number of rejected ballot papers. In the first round this was 6339, and in the second it was a staggering 17897. Of course some could just be down to people making a mistake filling in the boxes, but I really believe many spoilt papers were done on purpose as a some sort of protest vote.
There is one thing that has concerned me on the Police Commissioner elections is the number of ‘so-called’ Independent candidates who could hardly be called Independent as they actively belong to political parties. In some cases they are sitting Councillors under a party banner! That is not Independent.
The next 100 days are going to be interesting to see how these new commissioners take command of their various police authority areas. Let’s hope the first 100 days are not just fancy headlines and token gestures. But really can justify the £100 million spent on this process.