Councillor Craig McKinley, ex-Deputy-Leader of UKIP has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Kent PCC, where it is an open secret in advance of Monday’s announcement that he will face Labour’s Harriet Yeo.
In Hampshire, the Conservative shortlist was reduced to former MP Michael Mates (77!) and Local Councillor Donna Jones.
Richard Stratton is not one of the final three on the Conservative shortlist for Hertfordshire, but Peter Walker is through, with unnamed others, to the final stage for the Conservatives in North Yorkshire, as is Bernard Rix in Bedfordshire.
In Suffolk, the Conservative shortlist is down to David Card, Ray Herring and Tim Passmore. The successful candidate will face Jane Basham from Labour, after her shortlisted Labour rival withdrew from the race.
In Northamptonshire Adam Simmonds, a senior local government officer (who is now leaving his post in order to qualify to stand), has been chosen as the Conservative candidate, and will be up against Independent candidate, former Special Constable and supplier of ‘policewitness’ cameras, Matt Stockdale.
In Essex, Val Morris-Cook has been chosen as the Labour candidate. She will face Nicholas Alston from the Conservatives, and Independent Mick Thwaites.
In Thames Valley, the three Conservative finalists will be David Burbage, Kieron Mallon and Anthony Stansfeld. The Labour candidate will be former Lib-Dem Tim Starkey.
Meanwhile in Merseyside, prominent media sources are reporting that the Labour nomination has been won by Jane Kennedy in the battle of the ex-Ministers, beating Peter Kilfoyle (and Police Authority Chair Bill Weightman).
If Tim Iredale is right about the result in Humberside, you may not want to put the telly on this Monday, due to the risk of seeing yet more of John Prescott crowing about how he can still win elections at 74.
This is probably a good time to commiserate with all the candidates of any political colour, who tonight are feeling blue. I shall not name them here, but these people risked time, money and embarassment because they cared about the result, because they thought they could do the best job, and were prepared to take that risk. Their parties have chosen other people, but that doesn’t mean the parties made the right decision, and we should be grateful for the sacrifices they made to have a go.
If you look at the candidates who haven’t made it, some of them are very experienced in policing or in other fields. Former Police Federation Chair Jan Berry for example, has not been selected in Kent. The lack of candidates being considered in more than one area and issues with the parties’ selection processes combine to produce a phallanx of credible people without the backing of one of the main two political parties. That is something that in the right circumstances could backfire on those parties.