Here’s an interesting twist to the tale of Lee Barron, the latest Labour Police Commissioner candidate who has had to pull out for a previous conviction.
This has come to light too late in the day for him to actually pull out of the election, so his name will still be on the ballot paper with the Labour Party’s name and logo next to it. If he’s elected, he will have to immediately resign, triggering a by-election.
For voters who don’t follow the news that closely, there is therefore a good chance people will vote for him not knowing this. But even for those who do, if they are Labour supporters, there is a problem: do you vote for a candidate who will then have to resign because you want a by-election that another Labour candidate might then win, or do you vote for another candidate whose victory won’t trigger the expense of a by-election (and one which, in the circumstances, Labour might struggle in)?
Elected Police and Crime Commissioners have not got off to a great start. Having a contest on Northamptonshire where a candidate is on the ballot paper is hardly going to help change that, especially if some voters react with understandable anger at discovering they ‘wasted’ their vote on someone who couldn’t win.