Is there a problem with the Police and Crime Commissioner voting system?
Those that decide to vote have the opportunity to vote twice; a first choice candidate plus a second choice. However, you don’t have to use the second choice option; you can vote for one candidate only.
On the face of it that’s sounds reasonable.
However…a significant number are likely to vote along party lines; Conservative or Labour. But as there is only one candidate for each of these parties, the party faithful will likely not vote for a second choice. Again, that sounds fine. But is it?
As there are two Independent candidates it’s reasonable to assume that those that are disillusioned by bipartisan politics will vote for both.
Here’s the problem.
Those that don’t want party sycophants controlling our police force will probably divide their first choice between the two Independent candidates.
As a result, here’s a likely scenario…
The Conservative candidate attains 29% of the first choice votes, Labour 31% and the two Independent candidates receive the remaining 40%. But the Independent votes are split 50/50 between each candidate; 20% each. So the Independent candidates would be eliminated from the election despite the likelihood that most that voted for them did so as a result of not wanting party minions in control.
As I see it, there’s only one way of preventing such a result, and it’s a tough one…
Independent candidates David Bowles and Alan Hardwick should meet to decide who should drop out of the race before it’s too late. If one of you doesn’t, you’ll both lose. The consolation for the one that does would be immense public respect that would greatly influence future elections.