Turnout feared low at election for Police and Crime Commissioner

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

NORTH Yorkshire will find out today who its first Police and Crime Commissioner will be.

Two candidates are in the running for the £70,000-a-year PCC role with Conservative runner Julia Mulligan up against Labour rival Ruth Potter.

Today at 2pm the new PCC – who will have the power to hire and fire chief constables and will be responsible for setting North Yorkshire Police’s budget – will be announced.

Yesterday 766 polling stations across North Yorkshire collected votes between 7am and 10pm.

However there are fears that a very small percentage of the 618,781 people eligible to vote across the region will have chosen to have their say.

One local resident, outside the polling station at the National Centre for Early Music in Walmgate, which by noon yesterday had recorded a three percent turnout – said he had voted, but described the entire process as an “utter sham”.

He said: “The whole setup has been appalling.

“I received six separate notices through the post each displaying a criminal on the front and each telling me the importance of voting for a PCC.

“However none gave me information on the candidates who were running in North Yorkshire and what they were standing for.”

The resident, who asked not to be named, said he did not feel many people would vote as many thought there was “no need” for a PCC.

The Gateway Church in Acomb said there have been a ‘few’ people attend its voting station but said it had been fairly quiet. Several readers told The Press they would be handing in a spoiled ballot so show the strength of feeling about the lack of need for a PCC.

The Electoral Reform society had predicted national turnout of just 18.5 per cent, and chief executive Katie Ghose said: “This election has been a comedy of errors from start to finish. Polling stations are standing empty because voters knew next to nothing about the role, let alone the candidates they were expected to pick from.”

Summing up the role of the PCC, Conservative candidate Julia Mulligan, said: “It is to cut crime by understanding local priorities and focusing resources where they are most needed.”

Labour candidate Ruth Potter said the PCC role was about “holding the chief constable to account for the delivery of efficient and effective policing in North Yorkshire”.

Comments (20)

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10:02am Fri 16 Nov 12

Oaklands Resident says...

Biggest mistake was the government assuming that people wanted to change the system. Electors should first have been offered the options, of either the status quo or change, at a referendum which could have been held to co-incide with the next General Election (to reduce costs).

The turnouts for the Parliamentary by elections were also very low.

So now we have a democratic system that most peope are opting out of.

We need voting reform so every vote counts, we need to move to electronic voting (as already happens in the states) and allow participation using the internet.

These is no reason why electors shouldn't choose (if they wish to) to receive candidate information by Email or for that matter to complete ballot papers over the web. We all spend huge amounts of money on internet shopping these days so the security systems are already there.

Time for a major shake up in the democratic system I think
Biggest mistake was the government assuming that people wanted to change the system. Electors should first have been offered the options, of either the status quo or change, at a referendum which could have been held to co-incide with the next General Election (to reduce costs). The turnouts for the Parliamentary by elections were also very low. So now we have a democratic system that most peope are opting out of. We need voting reform so every vote counts, we need to move to electronic voting (as already happens in the states) and allow participation using the internet. These is no reason why electors shouldn't choose (if they wish to) to receive candidate information by Email or for that matter to complete ballot papers over the web. We all spend huge amounts of money on internet shopping these days so the security systems are already there. Time for a major shake up in the democratic system I think Oaklands Resident
  • Score: 0

10:07am Fri 16 Nov 12

turkey kid says...

well said sir
well said sir turkey kid
  • Score: 0

10:10am Fri 16 Nov 12

Digeorge says...

What a total waste of time. What exactly was the turnout?
What a total waste of time. What exactly was the turnout? Digeorge
  • Score: 0

10:26am Fri 16 Nov 12

roskoboskovic says...

typically patronising attitude from the government suggesting that we didn t vote because of the lack of information and understanding.we didn t vote because it is a total waste of time and money.
typically patronising attitude from the government suggesting that we didn t vote because of the lack of information and understanding.we didn t vote because it is a total waste of time and money. roskoboskovic
  • Score: 0

10:35am Fri 16 Nov 12

Jazzper says...

How can you vote for somebody you don't prefer?...out of the 2 candidates in York, I didn't want to chose either of them.
How can you vote for somebody you don't prefer?...out of the 2 candidates in York, I didn't want to chose either of them. Jazzper
  • Score: 0

10:37am Fri 16 Nov 12

emen says...

Jazzper wrote:
How can you vote for somebody you don't prefer?...out of the 2 candidates in York, I didn't want to chose either of them.
I voted for both of them.
[quote][p][bold]Jazzper[/bold] wrote: How can you vote for somebody you don't prefer?...out of the 2 candidates in York, I didn't want to chose either of them.[/p][/quote]I voted for both of them. emen
  • Score: 0

10:44am Fri 16 Nov 12

Lady Muck of NP says...

I am advised we received a leaflet back in September about one of the candidates. Not enough information supplied.
I am advised we received a leaflet back in September about one of the candidates. Not enough information supplied. Lady Muck of NP
  • Score: 0

10:45am Fri 16 Nov 12

Capt. Dobie says...

Jazzper wrote:
How can you vote for somebody you don't prefer?...out of the 2 candidates in York, I didn't want to chose either of them.
What he said. Totally agree.

AND the whole canvassing process wasn't even a half-effort; what roskoboskovic said I agree with in part, there was also no understanding by us voters- out of my peer & family group I was the only person to get a leaflet through the door for either candidate.
[quote][p][bold]Jazzper[/bold] wrote: How can you vote for somebody you don't prefer?...out of the 2 candidates in York, I didn't want to chose either of them.[/p][/quote]What he said. Totally agree. AND the whole canvassing process wasn't even a half-effort; what roskoboskovic said I agree with in part, there was also no understanding by us voters- out of my peer & family group I was the only person to get a leaflet through the door for either candidate. Capt. Dobie
  • Score: 0

11:23am Fri 16 Nov 12

YorkieTalkie says...

Is it really a wonder that turnout was low?

No information provided about the benefits (apart from the oft quoted "able to hire and fire" which you'd hope would be rare anyway, and the "alignment to local issues" which you'd think is part of a Chief Inspector's duties)
No real choice in candidates (two for England's largest county?)
Party political candidates (when political apathy is already high)
Run in mid-November when far fewer people are straying out in the dark

It should be interesting to see how whichever of the candidates wins spins the low turnout into being a "clear mandate"...
Is it really a wonder that turnout was low? No information provided about the benefits (apart from the oft quoted "able to hire and fire" which you'd hope would be rare anyway, and the "alignment to local issues" which you'd think is part of a Chief Inspector's duties) No real choice in candidates (two for England's largest county?) Party political candidates (when political apathy is already high) Run in mid-November when far fewer people are straying out in the dark It should be interesting to see how whichever of the candidates wins spins the low turnout into being a "clear mandate"... YorkieTalkie
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Sillybillies says...

It should be interesting to see how whichever of the candidates wins spins the low turnout into being a "clear mandate"...

You all had an opportunity to vote so the winner obviously has a clear mandate.
[quote]It should be interesting to see how whichever of the candidates wins spins the low turnout into being a "clear mandate"...[/quote] You all had an opportunity to vote so the winner obviously has a clear mandate. Sillybillies
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Digeorge says...

14% of eligible people voted!!
14% of eligible people voted!! Digeorge
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Digeorge says...

14% of eligible people voted!!
14% of eligible people voted!! Digeorge
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Digeorge says...

14% of eligible people voted!!
14% of eligible people voted!! Digeorge
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Fri 16 Nov 12

sheps lad says...

Would have been 42% if ev'ry one had done it in triplicate same as you!
Would have been 42% if ev'ry one had done it in triplicate same as you! sheps lad
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Gary Gilmores Eyes says...

History repeating itself?

The newly voted in police commissioner is effectively taking on the same role as described below as a ‘Gauleiter’.

Wikipedia extract below:
In the earliest days of the term's existence, Gauleiters were heads of election districts during a time period when the Nazis were attempting to gain political representation in the Weimar Republic. Gauleiters oversaw several Politische Leiters (Political Leaders) who assisted the Nazis with election campaigns and hosted senior Nazis (such as Hitler) on campaign tours.

Full description:
http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Gauleiter

Only history will determine if they are the same or different!
History repeating itself? The newly voted in police commissioner is effectively taking on the same role as described below as a ‘Gauleiter’. Wikipedia extract below: In the earliest days of the term's existence, Gauleiters were heads of election districts during a time period when the Nazis were attempting to gain political representation in the Weimar Republic. Gauleiters oversaw several Politische Leiters (Political Leaders) who assisted the Nazis with election campaigns and hosted senior Nazis (such as Hitler) on campaign tours. Full description: http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Gauleiter Only history will determine if they are the same or different! Gary Gilmores Eyes
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Kevin Turvey says...

Nice one Gary Gilmore…. We shall see eh!


‘Mrs Mulligan won 54 per cent of the votes, with 47,885 votes in her favour, while Ruth Potter won 38.74 per cent, with 34,328 votes. ‘

Very low turnout.




‘The official count said 5,210 votes were confirmed as spoiled. ‘

These people took the effort to go out and deliberately spoil their paper as a protest (including myself).
I think this really says something, but how will be explained in the PR spin to follow?



‘In Selby the turnout was 14 per cent, while in York it was 12.8 per cent and in Ryedale it was 16.75 per cent. ‘

Perhaps the real story is that either nobody is bothered by the event/ need for the role or have that much apathy for politics in general especially in York with a 12.8% turnout, I wonder if the low turnout for York is so low due to the general populations dissatisfaction with the present council?

or

that most people stayed away as a protest!

I wonder how the PR machines will explain that one?

I wonder if it would be a different story if the voters realized that the new commissioner roles have the power to raise council tax for policing budgets? That one was not promoted, probably for very good reason eh?

Either way we get the politicians we deserve by voting for the status quo!




‘City of York Council leader James Alexander also passed on his congratulations to Mrs Mulligan, on social media network Twitter. ‘

A non person congratulating another non person on a non event!

I think James Alexander should resign over this and just generally!
Nice one Gary Gilmore…. We shall see eh! ‘Mrs Mulligan won 54 per cent of the votes, with 47,885 votes in her favour, while Ruth Potter won 38.74 per cent, with 34,328 votes. ‘ Very low turnout. ‘The official count said 5,210 votes were confirmed as spoiled. ‘ These people took the effort to go out and deliberately spoil their paper as a protest (including myself). I think this really says something, but how will be explained in the PR spin to follow? ‘In Selby the turnout was 14 per cent, while in York it was 12.8 per cent and in Ryedale it was 16.75 per cent. ‘ Perhaps the real story is that either nobody is bothered by the event/ need for the role or have that much apathy for politics in general especially in York with a 12.8% turnout, I wonder if the low turnout for York is so low due to the general populations dissatisfaction with the present council? or that most people stayed away as a protest! I wonder how the PR machines will explain that one? I wonder if it would be a different story if the voters realized that the new commissioner roles have the power to raise council tax for policing budgets? That one was not promoted, probably for very good reason eh? Either way we get the politicians we deserve by voting for the status quo! ‘City of York Council leader James Alexander also passed on his congratulations to Mrs Mulligan, on social media network Twitter. ‘ A non person congratulating another non person on a non event! I think James Alexander should resign over this and just generally! Kevin Turvey
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Fri 16 Nov 12

emen says...

Let's look at some real statistics.

Fewer than 8 out of 100 "voters" supported Mulligan whilst Potter was supported by fewer than 6 out of 100 voters.

Over 1 in 100 voters actively protested against this sham by spoiling their papers.

Which leaves 85 people out of 100 potential voters who either could not be bothered to vote, didn't feel they had enough information to vote or couldn't see the point in voting at all.

Democracy is in serious trouble in this country.
Let's look at some real statistics. Fewer than 8 out of 100 "voters" supported Mulligan whilst Potter was supported by fewer than 6 out of 100 voters. Over 1 in 100 voters actively protested against this sham by spoiling their papers. Which leaves 85 people out of 100 potential voters who either could not be bothered to vote, didn't feel they had enough information to vote or couldn't see the point in voting at all. Democracy is in serious trouble in this country. emen
  • Score: 0

4:14pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Caecilius says...

Sillybillies wrote:
It should be interesting to see how whichever of the candidates wins spins the low turnout into being a "clear mandate"...

You all had an opportunity to vote so the winner obviously has a clear mandate.
Utter nonsense. The proposition was: "We are introducing, by dictat, political control of the police. The only say you get is whether they're going to be controlled by a member of the Labour Party or by a member of the Conservative Party, supposing anyone can tell the difference.". Don't mistake that for democracy, the more so as neither party could even be bothered to put their case to voters.

86% of the electorate in North Yorkshire, and 88% of the electorate in York, either want a Police & Crime Commissioner so little that they didn't bother to vote or, like me, spoiled their ballot paper to positively register the fact that they don't want ANY politician allowed to meddle with policing. The "winner" of this farce has no mandate at all, any more than Cameron had a mandate for imposing this measure. I, for one, neither know nor care which of the two parties is bankrolling her. Government in this country is a cosy little club of privileged people (I'm talking about all the parties here) who run things - usually badly - for their own benefit and who have a vested interest in keeping it that way. By twisting this overwhelming display of disinterest, contempt and hostility into "a clear mandate", you're playing these people's game.
[quote][p][bold]Sillybillies[/bold] wrote: [quote]It should be interesting to see how whichever of the candidates wins spins the low turnout into being a "clear mandate"...[/quote] You all had an opportunity to vote so the winner obviously has a clear mandate.[/p][/quote]Utter nonsense. The proposition was: "We are introducing, by dictat, political control of the police. The only say you get is whether they're going to be controlled by a member of the Labour Party or by a member of the Conservative Party, supposing anyone can tell the difference.". Don't mistake that for democracy, the more so as neither party could even be bothered to put their case to voters. 86% of the electorate in North Yorkshire, and 88% of the electorate in York, either want a Police & Crime Commissioner so little that they didn't bother to vote or, like me, spoiled their ballot paper to positively register the fact that they don't want ANY politician allowed to meddle with policing. The "winner" of this farce has no mandate at all, any more than Cameron had a mandate for imposing this measure. I, for one, neither know nor care which of the two parties is bankrolling her. Government in this country is a cosy little club of privileged people (I'm talking about all the parties here) who run things - usually badly - for their own benefit and who have a vested interest in keeping it that way. By twisting this overwhelming display of disinterest, contempt and hostility into "a clear mandate", you're playing these people's game. Caecilius
  • Score: 0

4:26pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Silver says...

emen wrote:
Let's look at some real statistics.

Fewer than 8 out of 100 "voters" supported Mulligan whilst Potter was supported by fewer than 6 out of 100 voters.

Over 1 in 100 voters actively protested against this sham by spoiling their papers.

Which leaves 85 people out of 100 potential voters who either could not be bothered to vote, didn't feel they had enough information to vote or couldn't see the point in voting at all.

Democracy is in serious trouble in this country.
I did not vote because I wanted neither option so why bother to waste paper?
[quote][p][bold]emen[/bold] wrote: Let's look at some real statistics. Fewer than 8 out of 100 "voters" supported Mulligan whilst Potter was supported by fewer than 6 out of 100 voters. Over 1 in 100 voters actively protested against this sham by spoiling their papers. Which leaves 85 people out of 100 potential voters who either could not be bothered to vote, didn't feel they had enough information to vote or couldn't see the point in voting at all. Democracy is in serious trouble in this country.[/p][/quote]I did not vote because I wanted neither option so why bother to waste paper? Silver
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Fri 16 Nov 12

yorkborn66 says...

Political madness in this nanny state that costs the taxpayer to line the pockets of do-gooders.
It could only happen here !
Political madness in this nanny state that costs the taxpayer to line the pockets of do-gooders. It could only happen here ! yorkborn66
  • Score: 0

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