A disastrous blow was dealt to the Tory-led government this morning as the turnout for yesterday’s Police and Crime Commissioner elections came in at an embarrassing 13.5%.
The Police and Crime Commissioner elections were a Tory initiative which pollsters, including Ipsos, projected would not mobilise the public into voting.
And the projections proved true, with an extremely low amount of the Greater Manchester electorate taking to the polls to elect their first Police Commissioner.
Chris Terry, a research officer at the Electoral Reform Society, said: “Clearly this was completely avoidable. The awareness campaign was really poor.
“The election should never have been held in November, and as a result the lack of support for candidates was appalling.”
Traditionally, less than 6.6% of the electorate vote in November than they do in May.
Fearing a poor turnout, the Home Office unleashed a £3milllion campaign last month, including advertising during X-Factor.
But despite the vast spending on this campaign, the public remained uninterested, with many citing a lack of information about their candidates.
A Tax Payers Alliance spokesman said: “I think the government has clearly failed to promote these elections, despite the amount of money they have spent on them.
“I think there have to be questions on when these elections are held. This has not been handled well.”
Greater Manchester today awaits the announcement of their victorious Police Commissioner candidate with Tony Lloyd, Michael Winstanley, Matt Gallagher and Steven Wolfe all being at Manchester’s GMEX today for the ballot count.
The announcement is expected by 6pm and MM will be there.