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Final runners and riders for the police commissioner stakes

Final runners and riders for the police commissioner stakes

🕔19.Oct 2012

With no dramatic late entrants into the field, seven candidates will contest the first election for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner on November 15.

Nominations are now closed and most experts regard Labour’s Bob Jones as the clear favourite.

Based on the latest national opinion polls, and on the results of local government elections this May, it would be a huge shock to the Labour Party if Mr Jones, a Wolverhampton councillor and long-standing police authority member, did not win.

However, it is just possible that Labour’s hopes could yet be dashed by a combination of unpredictable factors.

A very late Government campaign to publicise police commissioner elections in England and Wales is thought unlikely to create much in the way of interest in a mid-November election when hours of daylight are restricted.

It is precisely because voters tend not to like turning out in the middle of the winter that General Elections and council elections are invariably held in the summer months, unless circumstances force prime ministers into a corner, as happened to Ted Heath in February 1974 for example.

Add to the cold weather factor the probability that most people remain blissfully unaware that elections for police commissioners are taking place, and have no idea of what the role entails or how important it is, then it is possible that turnout at the PCC election in the West Midlands could fall below 20 per cent.

The result may therefore hinge on which political party, or independent candidate, can most successfully enthuse a disinterested public and persuade enough people to go out and vote. The weather on the day could be the real winner, or loser, of this election.

Under the supplementary vote system being used for the PCC elections, participants will be invited to select their fpreferred candidate, and also make a second choice if they wish. If the candidate with most votes manages to secure more than 50 per cent of votes cast, he is declared the winner.

But if no one manages 50 per cent, second preference votes are taken into account.

The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order with links to their campaign websites:

1.    Matt Bennett – Conservative

2.    Bill Etheridge – UKIP

3.    Cath Hannon – Independent

4.    Bob Jones – Labour

5.    Ayoub Khan – Liberal Democrats

6.    Mike Rumble – Independent

7.    Derek Webley – Independent


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