A disaster for the coalition, and a poor night for Democracy. What an epic fail.
• Turnout as low as 10 per cent and no votes at one station
• Furious voters spoil ballot papers in protest
• Electoral Commission launch inquiry
The Electoral Commission watchdog has today announced a review of the election process, warning the low participation level was "a concern for everyone who cares about democracy".
Jenny Watson, who chairs the Electoral Commission, said: "The Government took a number of decisions about how to run these elections that we did not agree with."
Katie Ghose, the chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: "This election has been a comedy of errors from start to finish. There have been avoidable errors at every step, and those responsible should be held to account."
Prof John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University and polling expert, said voters had been left "struggling" after candidates for the police and crime commissioner elections all promised much the same thing.
Some spoilt ballots at http://pccspoil.tumblr.com/
Some quotes from MPs who may now regret their words.
Damian Green MP: “This is a completely selfish and irresponsible decision by the PCS leadership. With only around one in 10 voting for industrial action, they have no authority to call their members out on strike.”
Dominic Raab MP: “It can’t be right that union bosses can humiliate the nation when just 11 per cent of their members support strike action.”
Priti Patel MP: “Any ballot in which fewer than half of those eligible to vote do so should be ruled invalid.”
Conor Burns MP: “The idea that these cloth cap colonels can hold the public to ransom on a turnout of 11 per cent is grotesque and anti-democratic.”
Matthew Hancock MP: “Union bosses who should not be allowed to call a strike when only a minority of their members voted for a strike.”
Below some words from the blog
"The PCC election results are a true shocker. On average, in each force area, only 7% of the electorate have voted for the new police commissioners. In some places, no one voted at all. Put another way, 93% of the electorate did not vote for the person now responsible for law and order in their area. Hardly the ‘connection with the public’ which this flawed policy was supposed to deliver."
On average, total turnout was between 10% and 20%.
"The fact is simple; it is a bad idea and no one really wants it. Remember, the turnout figures include spoiled ballot papers, so the actual number of votes is even smaller. "
As an exercise in public engagement, it has been a disaster.
"The idea was by politicians with a now proven record of being ‘out of touch’ with the public and delivered by a government which can’t seem to do anything right."
"None of this would really matter if we were talking about something inconsequential. But this is security and law & order for goodness sake. The quote of the day for me came from Kent Conservative PCC candidate Craig Mackinlay, who said on BBC radio at lunchtime, when it became clear he would lose to an independent; “The story of today is the collapse of the Labour vote”.
Just like the LD and Tory hapiness that Prescott lost while their vote has crashed. He really is a red herring.
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