Poor turnout in Boston for police and crime commissioner election

Just 14.27 per cent of Boston voters took part in yesterday’s police and crime commissioner election.

The figures have been revealed as the count to find out who will take up the post as the public head of Lincolnshire’s force begins.

Out of an electorate of 48,423 only 6,909 people chose to cast a vote for the role.

The numbers were higher than neighbouring South Holland, where the turnout was 12.23 per cent, but lower than West Lindsey where it was 17.7 per cent.

The countywide turnout was 15.63 per cent.

The poor turnout was widely predicted by experts and became clear yesterday, with news that polling stations across the borough had not seen many voters.

Labour candidate Paul Gleeson said he was aware of one station that had seen just eight people by about 6pm and a Standard reporter was only the 25th person to vote out of an electorate of 600 at another town centre station at about 6.30pm last night.

The winner will earn £65,000 a year and be in charge of overseeing budgets, holding the chief constable to account and setting the policing priorities for the next five years.

The candidates in Lincolnshire were David Bowles (Campaign to Stop Politicians Running Policing), Richard Davies (Conservative), Paul Gleeson (Labour), Alan Hardwick (Independent).

The Electoral Reform Society expects the national turnout to be just 18.5 per cent. It has slammed the Government, saying: “The purpose of electing the Police and Crime Commissioners was to give people a say over how our streets are policed.

“If less than a fifth of people vote this makes a mockery of any democratic mandate they have to speak for us.”

Police minister Damian Greene has this morning said that policy of elected commissioners should be judged on what they do, rather than how many people voted.