I’m writing this without knowing the result of yesterday’s election. If the leading web site on the PCC elections, topofthecops.com is correct then the result is a foregone conclusion and the Conservative candidate will win on first preferences. That may well prove right, but the appallingly low turnout which I noted when I went to vote in Cobham yesterday evening, could point to a nervous day for Julie Iles. It is quite plain that this election has not engaged the public at all. This is a pity because as I have already said on this blog, having an elected individual setting priorities for the police which reflect the concerns of local people is a good thing.
The fault lies with the main political parties, which have all treated this as just another election, and have stood candidates on a party political platform. As a result, good Conservative candidates will suffer as a result of the party’s mid-term unpopularity. Poor Labour candidates (John Prescott, anyone?) may well win on the basis of their party’s current poll lead.
Havinng spoken to the election officials last night, one complaint was that electors had received no information about the candidates. That doesn’t surprise me. I have seen no leaflets from any candidates apart from the Conservative candidate. But her campaign has not even enthused the local activists, judging from the fact that we in Cobham have barely been able to deliver leaflets to a quarter of the homes.
We can only hope that the winning candidate makes a success of the job, so that in 4 years’ time the public will appreciate that the policy itself is a good one, even if the execution of the electoral process has been uninspiring.