Police Commissioners set to be elected by preferential voting

A detail from the government’s current consultation on introducing elected police commissioners:

Commissioners will have a set four yearterm of office and term limits of two terms. The Government intends to apply the existing framework for the conduct of local government andParliamentary elections including the recognised eligibility criteria for standing for public office, in preparing for the first set of elections in May 2012. We are considering the appropriate voting system, and believe that a preferential voting system is the right option. (Source: section 2.12 in Policing in the 21st Century: Reconnecting police and the people)

I very much doubt whether this choice of voting system would change people’s views on the merits of elected police commissioners, but the proposal does reflect the extent to which first past the post is on the way out.

Over the last decade and more there have been numerous new elections and changes to electoral systems in Britain. First past the post has not been the chosen electoral system for the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament, London Assembly, Northern Ireland Assembly, London Mayor or other directly elected Mayors and when voting systems for the European Parliament and Scottish local elections were changed, they changed away from first past the post. Now police commissioners and the House of Lords are set to be added to that list by the government.

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One Comment

  • Tony Greaves 17th Oct '10 - 10:40pm

    If we are to have these abominations I hope it will be by the alternative vote and not the dreadful system that is used for Mayoral elections (which is hardly preferential anyway).

    Tony Greaves

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