Conservative PCC for Avon & Somerset
Mark Shelford won a close race for the Police & Crime Commissioner post. He beat Labour’s Kerry Barker into second place. The final vote totals were:
- 136,988 Mark Shelford (Conservative)
- 93,495 Kerry Barker (Labour)
- 64,790 Cleo Lake (Green)
- 52,839 Heather Shearer (LibDem)
- 46,379 John Smith (Independent)
It was a disappointment for the Independent candidate John Smith. Having been in post as deputy to Independent Sue Mountstevens might have put him at an advantage. But it was not to be. Ms Mounstevens, herself an Independent had held the post since it was created in 2012.
Of course winning is everything in an election like this, but there were some good signs for both Labour and the Greens. Coming third in a regional election of this nature and beating the Libdems into fourth place will be encouraging for Cleo Lake. Kerry Barker can take consolation from the fact that he won the Bristol vote comfortably (45,973 to Mark Shelford’s 28,442), however he could not make up the difference in the rural areas of the force area. In fact in Bristol Mr Shelford was pushed into third place by Cleo Lake who also polled well in the city.
More good news was in the turnout. Past elections have been notable for the lack of interest (in 2012 the turnout was just 19.58%). This time around, with no council or general election to ride on the back of , turnout was up significantly. At 30.72% it still has some way to go to compete with even district council elections, but it is a start. Perhaps an indication that a post very few people wanted when it was created, is gaining a measure of acceptance.
Lab and Lib Dems will have to decide whether to collaborate in halting this Conservative takeover of the whole country or carry on fighting each other.
Having taken the time to read the points and policies made by Mark
Shelfords on his website, and having looked at the other candidates too, I do not feel it is about politics. His approach was about tackling differing issues that impact folk across the whole area, be it city, town, village or countryside. That may be what made him so appealing. In the rural areas we sometimes felt forgotten by Sue.
I hope the new PCC,will work closer Parish Council.