Cambridgeshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner Graham Bright gained the first choice votes of only 2.48% of the electorate in Cambridge.
In Cambridge, as in Peterborough, Labour’s Ed Murphy was the most popular first choice. More voters in Cambridge spoilt their papers than voted for two of the candidates.
The first preference results for Cambridge were as follows:
|Name||Party/Independent||Votes||% Valid Papers|
|Rupert Moss-Eccardt||Liberal Democrat||2415||18.79%|
|Stephen Goldspink||English Democrats||586||4.56%|
Potential Disenfranchisement of Cambridge Residents
Many people, including elected representatives, in Cambridge feel disenfranchised by the Conservative run County Council as there are no councillors representing city wards on the ruling group. This view has often been expressed at the city’s area committee meetings over the last few years.
When I spoke to the Liberal Democrat candidate Rupert Moss-Eccardt shortly after his elimination from the election for Police and Crime Commissioner he noted Cambridge residents had already been disenfranchised by the arrangements for making appointments to the then Police Authority. The Conservative run County Council were the major influence on its membership and only one elected councillor from Cambridge was on the body. Moss-Eccardt said he expected more of the same.
Surprisingly perhaps, given their third place result in the city, Moss-Eccardt suggested there is some political capital for the Conservatives to maintain in Cambridge now and there will be a need for the Conservatives to take some interest in serving the city’s residents. He also noted that what goes on in the City does impact resident of the surrounding sub-region.
Moss-Eccardt said he hoped Commissioner Graham Bright would attend Cambridge’s area committees (where to-date councillors have democratically set local policing priorities and held the police to account for their performance against them). He also expressed a hope that Commissioner Bright would attend and participate in Cambridge’s Community Safety Partnership.
Moss-Eccardt said if the commissioner doesn’t do that (engage with bodies in Cambridge) then Cambridge is going to suffer.
Cambridge’s MP Julian Huppert and local councillors as well as prospective candidates will probably be looking with interest at the results of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections with a view to looking at how it might indicate changing views in the City which could impact the future make-up of the City Council and who may get elected our next MP.
There has recently been a swing towards Labour at the City Council at the last elections, and these results, with Labour gaining 1.7 times as many votes as the Liberal Democrats perhaps reinforces this direction of travel. However given the low turnout, and that some people at least vote on the basis of more than simply the party branding, there may not be a direct connection between this result and what would be expected in election for other positions.