Elections can be very unpredictable, and this one may be more so than most. We don't know the impact local candidates have been having. We don't know who has managed some form of contact with electors which their opponents have not. We don't know how many will vote, and how inclined people will be to support Independents rather than parties.
But we did have some rather good quality research from the Police Foundation earlier in the election applying opinion poll shifts and likely second preferences to the general election numbers. We also have data on how the opinion polls have shifted since and we now know what the Police Foundation couldn't have known, namely where the Liberal Democrats are fielding candidates. Add these to a few bits of knowledge about events that may have impacted on the election and it is possible to have a look at what the results might be, other things being equal, which of course they aren't.
I'll not go into the detailed stats, as 41 opportunities to be wrong in one day has seen off many others who would be in a better place to make predictions, and is quite enough for me. However, it would be useful to have something to compare the actual results with. I cannot tell you whose campaign is going well or badly, or which candidates really have turned out to be best in electoral terms, but estimating what the general trends mean for each area may enable us to see who has done particularly well or badly when the real results are known.
So, without further ado, and pausing only to point out that I'd really have preferred to do this off local election data than off national opinion polls that offer broad outlines of party support, this is the list of probable PCCs I am left with on my sums. I wonder how many I'll get right.
Labour – 19
Cheshire – John Stockton
Cleveland – Barry Coppinger on 1st Pref
Cumbria – Patrick Leonard
Derbyshire – Alan Charles on 1st Pref
Durham – Ron Hogg on 1st Pref
Dyfed-Powys – Christine Gwyther (no second preferences as only 2 candidates)
Greater Manchester -Tony Lloyd on 1st Pref
Gwent – Hamish Sandison on 1st Pref
Humberside – John Prescott
Lancashire – Clive Grunshaw
Leicestershire – Sarah Russell
Merseyside – Jane Kennedy on 1st Pref
Northumbria – Vera Baird on 1st Pref
North Wales – Tal Michael on 1st Pref
Nottinghamshire – Paddy Tipping on 1st Pref
South Wales – Alun Michael on 1st Pref
South Yorkshire – Shaun Wright on 1st Pref
West Midlands – Bob Jones on 1st Pref
West Yorkshire – Mark Burns-Williamson on 1st Pref
Cambridgeshire – Sir Graham Bright
Devon and Cornwall – Tony Hogg
Essex – Nick Alston
Dorset – Nick King
Hampshire – Michael Mates
Hertfordshire – David Lloyd
Kent – Craig Mackinlay
Northamptonshire – Adam Simmonds
North Yorkshire – Julia Mulligan (no second preferences as only 2 candidates)
Surrey – Julie Iles on 1st Prefs
Sussex – Katy Bourne
Thames Valley – Anthony Stansfeld
West Mercia – Adrian Blackshaw on 1st prefs (just)
Wiltshire – Angus Macpherson
Way Too Close To Call (within 3% of each other) – 8
Avon and Somerset – Labour's John Savage slightly ahead
Bedfordshire – Labour's Olly Martins slightly ahead
Gloucestershire – Labour's Rupi Dhanda slightly ahead, unless the voters have been listening to her comments about refusing to police the badger cull
Lincolnshire – Conservative Richard Davies slightly ahead
Norfolk – Labour's Steve Morphew slightly ahead, but only because former-Conservative-turned-Independent Stephen Bett will split off some Conservative votes
Staffordshire – Labour's Joy Garner slightly ahead in this two-horse race
Suffolk – Conservative Tim Passmore slightly ahead
Warwickshire – Fraser Pithie slightly ahead
In this model Labour's total is 24, with 17 likely for the Conservatives, and many Labour candidates are elected on first preferences alone, suggesting the real election was in the early part of the year, when candidates in some areas were chosen.
The great unknown is the Independents. I don't personally see any Independents making it on their own, but there could be a national surge towards Independents. If that happens then, in my view, 4 in particular are worth watching, for different reasons – Martyn Underhill in Dorset, Ann Barnes in Kent, John Norrie in Northamptonshire and Ian Chisnall in Sussex.
That's my best guess – what's your's, and what would it mean?