The Government has finally released the rules for the PCC election. The combined efforts of lawyer Ros Baston, Jon Collins from the Police Foundation and Crest Advisory managed to track them down and publish them for candidates to see. But here’s the deal. There’s 200+ pages, so it’s going to be a while before I wade through that lot, especially as the main points have already been complained about for a while. Instead, I will point you to the PCC Poll Patrol newsletter that Ros has helpfully prepared, and thank her for that work, and for inspiring the title of today’s post.
The poll I want to talk about is not the real one, but the opinion variety, specifically the ComRes poll published recently by Centreground Political Communications, an organisation which despite the name, was confused with the Labour party by one Independent candidate, apparently because of the people working there.
The poll headlined in the Guardian on Tuesday as it showed around 80% of voters know nothing about the elections, and this combines with low turnout in recent local elections to create worries about turnout in the PCC elections in November.
- 26% of voters said they might vote for an Independent candidate.
- This was 30% of Tories, 28% of LibDems and only 20% of Labour voters, suggesting better opportunities for right-of-centre Independents.
- Voters were looking for candidates who were tough on crime, with experience of law-enforcement, and with innovative ideas, all of which were more important than a candidate’s party political independence.
- Respondents thought Labour would be more likely to produce good candidates, than other parties.
- The company concluded that the Conservative Party was particularly vulnerable to independent challenges and could not rely on its history as the party of law and order.
- Independents could succeed, especially with older, wealthier and Conservative voters (editor’s note- isn’t that also the group most likely to actually turn out and vote?)
- People are more ready to switch to an independent candidate than to a different political party.