How many votes will the Labour candidate who isn’t a candidate get?

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.

 

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

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4 Comments

  • John Richardson 3rd Nov '12 - 11:24am

    Vote for whoever you want to win. It’s not voters’ fault the rules don’t work.

  • Margaret Rutter 4th Nov '12 - 10:48am

    It seems unfair to let people spend time and money on a non-candidate. What happend to the selection process. Think about the money people donated to his canpaign funds. Think about the people going out in the very cold to deliver his campaign leaflets etc.It seems Ed does not have his finger on the ball hear or anywhere.

  • Richard Marvell 4th Nov '12 - 1:02pm

    Am I missing something or is the answer not blindingly obvious? Surely there is no way that voters will not know the Labour candidate is not standing – the election officials at the polling station should tell them as they hand them the voting paper.

  • Alun Griffiths 5th Nov '12 - 9:56pm

    er, the Labour candidate is standing, he is just not eligible to be elected.
    However I’m not sure I like the idea of AROs explainin to voters who they shouldn’t vote for. Not a line I think we should cross

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