Conservative candidate, Caroline Henry, was elected Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner on Thursday, defeating the Labour incumbent, Paddy Tipping.
PCCs are the people’s representative amongst the police service and are elected using a slightly different voting process to local councillors.
Voters first rank their two favoured candidates as a first and a second choice.
All but the top two candidates are then eliminated, the second-preference votes of eliminated candidates reallocated to the surviving candidates.
The candidate with the highest resulting total is elected.
The result of Thursday’s first preference vote, the total turnout in Nottinghamshire 34%, was
Caroline Henry (Con) 131,318
Paddy Tipping (Lab) 119,271
David Watts (LD) 23,794
The Liberal Democrat candidate, David Watts, was therefore eliminated.
Early signs then suggested that Mr Tipping had not quite done enough to make up the gap between himself and Ms Henrywith second preference votes.
In Newark and Sherwood, for example, second preferences were reportedly
Caroline Henry – (C) 886
Paddy Tipping – (L) 1550
Mr Tipping did not retake the lead and the final result was
Caroline Henry (Con) 138,658
Paddy Tipping (Lab) 131,302
This loss represents the huge nationwide shift away from Labour, especially the case in former ‘red wall’ areas in the English north and midlands.
On Friday, local Conservatives won control of Nottinghamshire County Council as Labour lost –2.9% of their vote share from 2017.
Mr Tipping won a convincing victory in 2016 with 47% of the vote.
His Conservative rival, Tony Harper, only accumulated 28%.
This year’s election was considerably closer, Mr Tipping garnering 48.6% of the final round tally against Ms Henry’s 51.4%.
Indeed, the closeness of this countywide PCC election – compared to the Conservative’s convincing council takeover – may suggest split loyalties.
It is possible that some electors voted for Tipping after choosing a Conservative councillor.
Alternatively, this is a symptom of the more representative nature of the proportional representation system of voting, presenting finer margins between Nottinghamshire Labour and the Conservatives.
Pre-election, local Conservatives were quietly hoping that promising polls with regards to their party’s nationwide fortunes would also apply to those voters choosing their PCCin Nottinghamshire.
This seems to have been the case.
Ms Henry has promised the reallocation of some resources used in Nottingham city to Gedling Borough.
This will be used to alter a currently ‘undelivered’ crime prevention strategy in order to tackle county lines drug gangs.
This activity, she says, represents a large proportion of local illegal activity.
Also important is the safety of women and girls.
“We need to be speaking up about male violence against women”.
Ms Henry claims that the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has told her that Nottingham should be a key part of a “male violence against women and girls strategy”.
Moreover, she has stated that she is well placed to discuss the issue of race relations as her husband is black.
“He got elected to be an MP in a constituency which is 92% white”. “That really proves that actually racism is not a huge problem in this area”.
“As a mixed race family” – with mixed race twins – and “having lived in the [United] States, I couldn’t wait to get back in this country”.
“Genuinely, Britain is the best place to live as a diverse family”.
Paddy Tipping, meanwhile, has emphasised how he believes that “It is clear to me that people from a BAME background, particularly a black background, face… real structural difficulties with big organisations”.
Although, he also acknowledges parts of the report which describe “some good practice”. Nevertheless, this is still “well short of the mark”.
He is the latest Labour casualty during an horrific period of elections for his party.