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Suffolk: PCC elections arrive – with apathy set to win

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 November 2012

Police & Crime Commissioner candidates .(left to right) Tim Passmore, Bill Mountford, David Cocks and Jane Basham.

Police & Crime Commissioner candidates .(left to right) Tim Passmore, Bill Mountford, David Cocks and Jane Basham.

Archant © 2012

AFTER months of campaigning, the polls open tomorrow in the elections for England’s first ever police and crime commissioners.

But while there are four candidates standing for the £70,000 post in Suffolk, much of the interest is likely to focus on the turnout which could be a historic low for a county-wide election.

There are four candidates – three representing political parties and one independent.

Labour has chosen Jane Basham as its candidate in the election.

A former chief executive of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council of Racial Equality, Ms Basham has worked with the police over many years and has pledged to use the position to fight any further government-imposed cuts on the service.

David Cocks is standing as an independent candidate.

He is banking on his wide experience of life in Suffolk – he is a former boss of Radio Orwell and ran the health provider TCN – to try to win votes from people who want a non-political commissioner.

Bill Mountford is the UKIP candidate.

A driving instructor from south Lowestoft, he was elected to the county council in a surprise result in 2009 and is campaigning for more police to be put on the beat.

Tim Passmore is the Conservative candidate.

As the current leader of Mid Suffolk council and former chief executive of Choose Suffolk, he is well known in the county, and says he would like to see local people have more say in policing priorities – but he is not making unrealistic promises.

The Liberal Democrats have not put up a candidate, saying that the election should be non-political.

How does the voting system work?

N People can make two choices for a PCC.

N Vote for your first choice candidate by marking a cross (X) in the first choice column.

N Vote for your second choice candidate by marking a cross (X) in the second choice column.

N You can choose not to mark a second choice.

N If you only mark a second choice, your vote will not be counted.

N If you give the same candidate your first and second choice, only your first choice will be counted.

N Marking a second choice cannot reduce the chances of your first choice being successful.

N Only one of your choices is counted towards the final result so you still only get one vote.

How is a PCC elected?

N If a candidate gets more than half of all the first choice votes, they will be declared the winner.

N If no candidate gets more than half of the first choice votes, the two candidates with the most first choices go into a second round.

N The eliminated candidates’ ballot papers are reviewed and any second choice votes are added to their scores. The candidate with the highest number of combined first and second choice votes is the winner.

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