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Vote! Police and Crime Commissioner Election 6th May

Ferndown residents will have the opportunity to vote in the forthcoming Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner election.

This election should have taken place back in May 2020. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic it has been postponed until now. There is also a by-election in Ferndown Town Council Central Ward which we will report on separately. This year there are no elections or by-elections for county Councillors within our area in May.

One of the problems with having just this one major election in Dorset is that many people will not bother to vote. The election will be lucky if it gets a 20% turnout. Which means that of a total electorate of just under 600,000 possibly only 120,000 will vote. There are five candidates. The winning candidate will probably gain no more than 40,000 first preference votes. That’s for an area with a population of 772,270! The the winning margin will be at best few thousand votes. Or less. So you can see why every vote is important!

Police and Crime Commissioner Voting Arrangements

Police and Crime Commissioner elections use a voting scheme known as the Supplementary Voting system. It’s easy to understand and use.

Each voter gets a first and second choice on the ballot paper. You don’t have to use the second choice vote if you don’t want to. You can just vote like you do in a normal election. It is up to you.

The candidates will be ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th depending on their first preference vote share. All but the two leading candidates are then eliminated.

The the second choice ballots of the eliminated candidates are then checked. Any second choices that are for either of the two remaining candidates are added to the their count. The winner is then the remaining candidate with the biggest vote share.

What Does a Police and Crime Commissioner do?

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are elected to direct policing policy and to hold the police to account. Their responsibilities include the police force’s budget. In extreme circumstances they can dismiss the Chief Constable and/or appoint his/her replacement. They are mandated to produce a strategic plan to direct policing within their area over the period of their service.

We hope to devote more space to the candidates in future posts But here is a brief synopsis for each of the five candidates (in alphabetical order):

Patrick Canavan (website here)

Patrick is a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate. He has previously contested this election. He wants to protect communities, cut crime and increase the number of successful prosecutions.

Dan Hardy (website here)

Dan was once a Detective Inspector on the Specialist Crime Directorate. Politically independent, he has a detailed understanding of the strategic and tactical issues facing a modern police force.

Mark Robson (website here)

Mark is a Liberal Democrat candidate and Councillor. He serves on the adult health committee. As a resident, member of the community and local campaigner, he knows the county well.

Claire Seymour (Facebook Page here)

Claire is a Green Party candidate. She has a degree in Public Services and is a strategic lead for a large housing provider. She has also volunteered as a Police special constable.

David Sidwick (website here)

David is a Conservative and Unionist candidate. He wants to to make Dorset the UK’s safest county. David also wishes to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. He wants to keep people safe and secure.

The Retiring Police and Crime Commissioner

The retiring Police and Crime Commissioner is Martin Underhill. Mr Underhill was elected on an independent platform. He based his candidacy on his expertise in policing issues and his many years of experience as a senior police officer. In 2012 he won his first Police and Crime commissioner election. He was then successfully re-elected in 2016.

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