Four left in race to become police commissioner

NEXT week elections will be held for the new police and crime commissioner – overshadowed by the withdrawal of the Labour-supported candidate.

On Thursday November 15 one of four candidates for Northamptonshire will be elected into the post, abolishing existing police authority.

The new post and job of the PCC is to hold chief constables into account, set local policing priorities and set the budget to decide how council tax is spent on crime and policing issues. The PCC will also receive all funding related to policing and crime reduction and decide on its allocation.

In this area Conservative candidate Adam Simmonds, Liberal Democrat Paul Varnsverry, UKIP candidate Jim Macarthur and independent candidate John Norrie are standing for election.

Labour hopeful Lee Barron was suspended last week by his party after it emerged he was arrested 22 years ago and fined £20 for wilfully obstructing the police during an incident at a Northampton pub.

These days such an offence carries a potential custodial sentence, barring Mr Barron from becoming PCC for Northants.

Labour withdrew their support for him, but as the deadline for withdrawals had passed Mr Barron’s name will still appear on the ballot papers. If Mr Barron ‘wins’ the election the post will be deemed vacant and the election will re-run within 35 days.

The vote will see 37 PCCs elected in England and four in Wales through the supplementary voting system – a system very similar to the alternative vote.

Voters can have a first and second preference vote and if any candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the first preference votes they are elected. If no candidate reaches the threshold all except the two candidate with the highest number of votes are eliminated.

The second preferences from the eliminated candidates’ votes are then counted and added to the two frontrunners’ total to declare the winner.