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Reform group hits out at “mismanaged” police commissioner poll

PCC Hustings: Wellingborough: Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner election candidates at hustings at The Hind Hotel. 
L-r Adam Simmonds (Cons), John Norrie (Ind), Paul Varnsverry (LibDem), Jim MacArthur (UKIP)
Tuesday 6th November 2012

PCC Hustings: Wellingborough: Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner election candidates at hustings at The Hind Hotel. L-r Adam Simmonds (Cons), John Norrie (Ind), Paul Varnsverry (LibDem), Jim MacArthur (UKIP) Tuesday 6th November 2012

The “bungled” Police and Crime Commissioner elections in November have been heavily criticised after it was revealed just one in 10 people know who their commissioner actually is.

The Electoral Reform Society today revealed there was “unprecedented criticism” of the Government’s handling of their flagship policy – which resulted in just 15 per cent of the electorate bothering to vote.

In Northampton, where the Corby parliamentary by-election was held on the same day, turnout was slightly higher, at 20 per cent.

Polling commissioned by the society has also showed just one in 10 voters can identify their new elected PCC.

It comes as the Electoral Commission prepares to publish a report into the election.

Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society said: “This was a flagship policy designed to reconnect the public and the police. Yet after spending £75 million nearly 90 per cent of Britons have no idea who their elected Police and Crime Commissioner even is.

“November’s bungled poll failed both candidates and voters. Government mismanagement has handed our elected Commissioners a poisoned chalice, and it remains unclear how they can overcome it.

“The Electoral Commission’s forthcoming review must not pull its punches. The Government has singularly failed to accept any responsibility and would like to see nothing more than a whitewash.”

Research of candidates found 88 per cent of candidates felt that public awareness of the elections was low, with the Government’s media campaign labelled “a complete disaster”.

Today’s report called for no major election to ever by held during the winter months.

 

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