PCC results roll in
The results of the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections are beginning to filter through, but the vote has been overshadowed by reports of low turnout and deserted polling stations.
The Electoral Commission will launch a review of the elections, while the Electoral Reform Society described the Government's handling of the vote as "a comedy of errors".
But the Prime Minister dismissed the suggestion that the PCCs would be lacking democratic legitimacy as a result of the low turnout.
"Yes, they have a mandate. And look, turnout was always going to be low when you’re electing a new post for the first time. But remember, these Police and Crime Commissioners are replacing organisations that weren’t directly elected at all. And for the first time people are going to have a local law and order champion," David Cameron said.
Notably, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott failed in his bid to become the for PCC for Humberside.
More than 20 candidates have now been elected, with ten Labour candidates, nine Conservatives and seven independents being voted in.
Speaking to the Today programme, Angus Macpherson, the first PCC elected, said the low turnout was not ideal, describing his selection as "not so much a mandate, it's more of a job interview".
"I think what I would say, of all those who voted, more liked my skill sets than liked the others," he said.
Policing Minister Damian Green this morning insisted the "measure of success" for the Government's policy would be "what the commissioners achieve", rather than the turnout at the polls.
Downing Street today suggested the London-based media was a factor in the poor turnout, and also defended the Government's decision not to spend more on promoting the elections.
AS of 6.30pm, the Conservatives have taken 15 areas including Essex, Hertfordshire and North Yorkshire, while Labour has taken 13, including Merseyside, South Yorkshire, and Durham among other areas. Independent candidates have so far triumphed in 12 areas including Gwent, North Wales, Dorset and Hampshire.