Richard Rhodes elected Cumbria's first Police and Crime Commissioner

Richard Rhodes, who had been the chair of Cumbria's probation trust, a magistrate for 33 years, and was the Conservative candidate, was elected in Thursday's election to be the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria, taking over the responsibilities of the former Police Authority.

First preference votes were cast as follows:

Richard Rhodes (Conservative):   18,080
Patrick Leonard (Labour):            15,301
Mary Robinson (Independent):     15,245
Pru Jupe (Lib/Dem):                    13.623

No candidate had more than 50% of the vote plus one, so under the system used - a kind of "AV-lite" which I know is a very sore point with some people - the bottom two candidates were then eliminated and those of their second preferences which were for the Conservative or Labour candidates were then counted.

Votes with a first preference for the Conservative and Labour candidates stayed in those respective columns, and second preferences from the defeated Lib/Dem and Independent candidates were added as follows:

Richard Rhodes - 7,328
Partick Leonard - 5,016

Which produced final totals of:

Richard Rhodes - 25,408 - ELECTED
Patrick Leonard - 20,317
Conservative majority 5,091.

The following further comments can be made about the result

Although turnout was very disappointing at about 15%, there were nevertheless more than 60,000 people who cast a valid vote - (not counting spoilt ballot papers as some of these would have been people who were indicating that they did not support this election). To those who query whether the winning candidate has a mandate I would reply that he received a higher absolute number of votes than most of the MPs in Cumbria did individually, and twenty-five thousand more votes than the former police authority had received as police authority members.

As someone who believes in democracy I would have obviously preferred to see a higher turnout and there are lessons which should be learned from the low numbers who voted - don't hold elections at a time of year when people will be campaigning in the dark, make sure there is more information available to voters, would be two of the most obvious, but not the only ones.

 Nevertheless, all the voters in Cumbria had the chance to vote, sixty thousand of us did, and the winning candidate had the support of twenty-five thousand of them: that's enough to do the job.


Jim said…
not sure if you have heard of the "No Candidate Deserves My Vote" party.

(If i remember correctly, one of the members in 2010, actually changed his name by deed poll for the election, To "None Of The Above", then changed it back,

Had to do this, as its illegal to name a political party "none of the the above" or use the phrase in a party name, but you can change your own name to whatever you like.

I just wonder, would turnout have been so low if a candidate like that had stood, and made it known he was standing? I don't think it would.

see as his only promise if elected is to immediately resign, this forces a new by-election. One in which the candidates know they have to make far more effort.

Once other thing, other as well as scrapping the AV lite election system, I would also like to see the deposit lowered to say £500, thus making it more open to independents.

from what i see all 4 candidates (including the winner) should lose the deposit, as no one was voted for by more than 5% of the electorate.
Chris Whiteside said…
Of course I've heard of it, the party was founded in St Albans where I used to live.

I recall that a decade ago, when I was a St Albans councillor and before I moved to Cumbria, several people stood in the elections to St Albans City and District Council and those for Herts County Council using the label "No candidate deserves my vote."

One of them stood in the ward for which I was then a councillor against Beric Read who was my best man at my wedding and is my son's godfather.

I'm delighted to say that the candidate concerned recieved only 21 votes, not that many more supporters than it takes to sign a nomination paper.

Their highest ever share of the vote was 36 votes (3.15% of the vote) in Sopwell ward that year (2002)

I was pleased at their poor showing not out of antipathy for the "No candidate deserves my vote" people but because I was pleased that our constituents felt that my friend and the other candidates did deserve their vote.

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