After counting second preferences of all but the top two candidates, the split between Conservative and Labour in the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner by election held on November 27 2021 was almost exactly the same as it had been in the original election held in May. Tory Zoe Metcalfe won 61 per cent of votes cast compared with Labour’s Emma Scott-Spivey’s 39 per cent.
The big difference was the turnout. At 15 percent it was only half that of May – meaning only one voter in seven went to the polls. It costs around a million pounds to run an election across North Yorkshire and York so the inescapable conclusion must be that by choosing Philip Allott, who lasted just six months before he showed himself totally unsuited to the job, the local Conservatives have cost tax payers money that would have been much better spent on fighting crime.
The post of Police Commissioner was created by the coalition government in the early twenty tens. There is little public understanding of the role or responsibilities and even less opportunity for candidates to make their case to a massive and widespread electorate so it is little surprise that turnout is low and those who do vote tend to do so on party lines.
Labour is grateful to supporters who turned out to vote; to party activists who campaigned for Emma; and to a hard-working candidate who did all she could to meet voters in a short campaign.