PCCs: Independents 2 Turnout 0

 

"Interesting results," said a senior Labour figures as the numbers came in. "But I'm not sure what they tell us."

The rest of us have been puzzling it out over the last few hours. So what do we know?

We know that the line advanced by some that the Police Commissioners should be independent figures rather than politicians has struck a chord with many voters. Enough of a chord for two independents to win, Winston Roddick in north Wales and Ian Johnston in Gwent.

We know too that the much-vaunted Tory machine in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire is purring nicely. It delivered the Assembly seat of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire for Angela Burns in 2011 when many pundits were looking the other way - and today it helped deliver Dyfed-Powys for Christopher Salmon.

Carwyn Jones' appeal for Plaid Cymru supporters to lend their votes to Labour in Dyfed-Powys didn't work, or didn't work well enough, at least.

Some comfort for Labour in South Wales, where Alun Michael carried the day - although it was another independent that came closest to upsetting things there. And let's not forget that Mr Michael's old Westminster seat, Cardiff South and Penarth, stayed Labour comfortably enough in a by-election. Stephen Doughty, Wales' newest MP.

Mrs Michael - wife of victorious Alun, mother of defeated Tal in North Wales - spent the day knitting as others crunched the numbers. A jacket, apparently - something to keep the chill out on a gloomy November day.

Ah, the weather. Was that why the turnout dropped below 15% - as predicted by David Blunkett a few days ago when I bumped into him on the High Street in Bangor - and why no-one at all voted at one polling station in Newport? I was told of another ballot box in Cardiff last night that contained just two papers - one vote for Labour, one for the Communists. The man who counted them wondered out loud whether that meant one little part of Cardiff is now officially half Communist for the next few years?

Or does the answer lie elsewhere - the lack of a mailshot for the candidates, maybe, or even a lack of attention from the media. The shoppers who stopped to talk to me in Port Talbot today said they hadn't been voters yesterday not because they couldn't be bothered but because they hadn't felt able to make an informed choice - or thought the whole exercise daft.

Whatever the answer, David Cameron says things'll be better next time, when the public's had a chance to get used to the idea of Police and Crime Commissioners.

Next time? That'll be May 2016 - yes, the same day as the Assembly elections.

A final, pithy thought from the Welsh Local Government Association:

"The WLGA would like to congratulate local Returning Officers and their officials across Wales for their efficient running of these elections despite the poor public turn out. We hope that their day was not too dull."

 
Betsan Powys, Political editor, Wales Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 31.

    Being utterly bored by the whole thing I didn't vote. Neither could I be bothered to stroll down to the polling station to 'spoil my vote' which must be the biggest waste of time since solar panels.

    Alf is correct about Boxer not mentioning the Welsh language. So just to satisfy our Wooodsey...May I say that the compulsory teaching of the divisive Welsh language should be scrapped !

    Happy now ?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 30.

    To be fair to Boxer woodsy. I have had my fair share of sparing with him. But I have seen nothing on this present blog. To warrant your assertions. So what are you on about he hasn't said any anti Welsh comment that I can see. Though I must admit it is unusual. Perhaps this subject is too important to be partisan over.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 29.

    BOXER THE HORSE hates anything pertaining to Welshness

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 28.

    I find it difficult to reconcile the suggestion that PCCs will have no control over operational matters with their powers to hire and fire the Chief Constable and set the budget. Of course, I may be mistaken in thinking that, for example, the budget will be a major influencer, if not controller, of opererational priorities.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 27.

    Interesting point Boxer. Does that mean a certain Party had better watch out or they may targeted by these Placemen. I say Placemen because An interesting anomaly. I don't believe there are any women elected to the positions. Also they will be earning £100,000 a year without having to pay for their staff and advisers and the rest. Money we can afford I suppose. Oh they will raise Council Tax mun.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 26.

    A Labour stooge is a bit unfair, Alf. Placeman seems fair. Promising little youngster but never got higher than FAW Division 2.
    You hear that in both France and the USA where police control is both 'democratic' and local that the rich and wealthy are treated differently. At leat in Wales, at present, an AM is routinely charged with drink driving. If the Police commissioner was same party ??

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 25.

    Perhaps being run by a committee is no different. But one person is more susceptible to biased Political persuasion or pressure from outside institutions or possible criminal elements wanting an input or control through extortion. Hypothetical perhaps but any thing is possible. We hear enough of this happening in the American system. Look who we have ended up with. A Labour stooge.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 24.

    I did not vote because I lacked the information needed to choose. There was only one candidate that I recognised, an old party warhorse. Was he standing because he had strong views on Policing, or because he was looking for easier pensionable employment?? Whio knows: he certainly didn't tell me.
    For the rest, I knew nothing about them: age; education; politics; family; employment.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 23.

    20.Melli
    #19 - and I guess the history you were taught was not-biased? Yes it was biased. Thats my point even in so called democracies you get indoctrinated.No one ever tells you that more sailors died after the armada through starvation due to the fact they weren't paid.and thats one of many examples.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 22.

    Well decentjohn I did go down to the polling station for a chat, then on for a long walk on the cliffs on a beautiful still morning, but low turnout was the message that I personally wanted to send and I succeeded in my aim. One good thing about a committee...it does little, so does little wrong. Wait 'till the first megalomaniac crime Commissioner raises his head...

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 21.

    I would hazard a guess that the low turn-out in Wales and England was due to:
    1) we didn't want it, nor trusted it's purpose.
    2) too many politicians applying with party funding support.
    3) politically motivated American system import.
    4) no canvassing of voters for such an important post.
    5) see 1)

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 20.

    #19 - and I guess the history you were taught was not-biased?

    As for PCCs - the police are already politicised, at least this way I can get to hold the person to account and they are not a faceless committee.

    #16- apathy is rife, but unfortunately nobody seems to have any ideas to solve it. There is a culture in Britain today that does not care about democracy and politicos that do not care.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 19.

    13.gonoph
    As I said you've probably been given History lessons from an English point of view. The moon isn't made of cheese

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 18.

    Police Commissioners have no powers over operational matters, they decide the budget, hire and fire chief constables and draw up a crime reduction plan.... I am not sure what they will actually do though day to day as they can't interfere with actually day to day policing. Again I don't like power concentrated in one pair of hands. I spoiled my paper. Love to see the stats on spoiled papers.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 17.

    But that isn't all; my personal belief is that unseen "white Collar" crime is blighting this country. Quite monumental swindles and quite small swindles rob us all of billions. Such crimes gain little publicity. I can see Crime commissioners responding to the Red-Top obsession with benefit fraud or antisocial behaviour; visible crime, but being relaxed about unseen offences.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 16.

    There was no excuse for not voting yesterday. You had the option register a "none of the above" vote. Lazyness and apathy ruled. As for low turn out until we have compulsory voting then all results are valid, unless we are going to re-write the rules

    Politicising the police? The police have always been politicised. Its a shame that people can post on here but don't cast their vote

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 15.

    ......policing. Do we want populist measures or do we want well thought through policies? And when it comes to public order do we want impartiality or do we want partisan policing? Will Pro hunt demonstrations be given a blessing by a Tory Commissioner and anti-hunt demonstrations be aggressively policed?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 14.

    Actually the outcome was better than I expected. Politicalbetting was saying that Tory and labour candidates would share the spoils and that turned out to be untrue. The problem with political oversight of policing is that the Commissioner is inevtably serving his party and looking for populist measures on..

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 13.

    Like I said, Wooodsey, before you had my comment removed, the British Empire has provided you with the freedom, prosperity and security that you currently enjoy.

    You can't deny it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 12.

    11.netphantom2012
    I agree,but every opportunity is used on this site to criticise the langauge. Even when the topic has nothing to do with it. It involves they same minority each time.

 

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