Should the Liberal Democrats contest police commissioner elections?

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

Yes is the answer according to the latest Liberal Democrat Voice survey of party members:

Support: 57%
Oppose: 24%
Net: 33% in favour

The party has been putting in place the necessary procedures to fight these elections, such as making decision over candidate selection rules. However many influential voices have also been raised against the party putting up candidates and with the delay in the elections until autumn 2012, the question is far from settled.

  • Over 1,200 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with Some 550 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 11th and 15th September.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However,’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past accurately predicted the winners of the contest for Party President, and the result of the conference decision to approve the Coalition agreement.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at
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  • Leekliberal 8th Oct '11 - 11:52am

    Elected Police Commissioners are a piece of Tory nonsence and potentially dangerous nonsence too: With low turnouts the election of populist ‘handcuff waving’ authoritarians is a real worry. Also It will inevitably politicise policing. Lib Dems have managed to get the elections postponed so the next task, as realistically we cannot stop them, is to confine them to a handful of authorities on a trial basis so that the adverse effects in these areas can become apparent before a final decision is made on bringing the elections in on a national basis. From the standpoint of a Lib Dem Local Party Agent, unless we secure a Government funding for both a leaflet and Freepost the huge cost of the campaign will preclude Lib Dem candidates standing in our weaker areas so we will need the discretion to either back an independent or even (in extremis) other party candidate if finance is lacking.

  • Chris Stanbra 9th Oct '11 - 10:03am

    Here’s a platform that has attractions for me:
    Lib Dem candidate stands for election as Police Commissioner and says “I don’t like elected Police Commissionsers because they concentrate too much power in the hands of one person. Therefore if elected I will meet to effectively abolish myself by delegating my powers to an appropriate elected authority or authorities. I will draw allowances sufficient to allow me to oversee this arrangement. The balance of my allowances will be used to put more Police Officers on the beat”
    No doubt there are flaws with this approach, e.g. the legislation may forbid it – I don’t know. Others might.

  • Why would a politicised police force be better than the one we have at the moment?

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