The Labour party have now stopped accepting applications for their Police and Crime Commissioner nominations, whereas the Conservative process is still open, as also are those of other parties, and Independents are free to enter the race likely up to mid-October. Now seems as good a time as any to check the scores on the doors! How many are applying for each party?
Michael Crick reports that the Labour party have told him they have had around 150 applications, which is less than 4 per area on average. Apparently they are “a good mix of cllrs, former Westminster politicians, newbies, former coppers etc”, but no more ‘notables’ we don’t already know about. (No Jack Straw then!) They then said what wonderfully skilled and experienced candidates they had to choose from. (Well they were hardly going to say they were all duffers.)
The Conservatives are saying very little. Hundreds apparently have registered an interest on their website (takes about 1 minute), but how many have actually tackled the application form? Well, whoever leaked/fabricated the numbers that informed the recent HuffPost article put the number at 220, and they did say they were d…. isappointing, but that didn’t sound much like the party’s official press release. If that figure was right, that’s more like 5.5 per seat.
But how, I hear you scream, does that compare to all the tittle-tattle we’ve been recording on this website/Crick’s articles/the Police Foundation list (which all inform each other and are fairly similar now)?
Well, Labour’s 150 candidates compares to 34 declared Labour candidates and 18 rumoured.
The Tories’ possible 220 candidates compares to only 17 declared Conservative candidates, and 27 rumoured.
The Conservatives appear to be generally more, well, conservative about announcing their intentions to the world, but there may be an element of waiting for the selection system to become clear, whereas Labour hopefuls already know they need to convince Labour party members, and are getting on with it, some in public.
As to others, I’ve only counted 1 declared Liberal candidate and 3 rumoured, 5 declared Independents and 16 rumoured, and 3 rumoured ‘others’, which squeezes together Plaid Cymru and the English Democrats, mainly because I thought it would be funny.
Health warning! Some of the reports on which these figures are based are fairly solid, and others are of questionable veracity. Also, there were some fine judgements about whether people were ‘rumoured’ as opposed to ‘definite’, so it’s fairly broad brush.
At least it looks like in November people will actually have a choice to make, and it seems that most of the people who have applied are people we don’t currently know are running, or haven’t even speculated about yet. There remain lots of declarations to make their way onto these pages – do come back now!