The turnout rate in the election was lower than that of the OUSU election last week, as just 10.9% of Oxford residents voted in the PCC election last week, compared to 16% at the OUSU elections.
Tim Starkey, the Labour candidate, lost in the second round of voting as no candidates achieved 50% of first round votes, told Cherwell, “The abysmal turnout raises serious questions about the way the election has been organised and the role itself. One of Anthony Stansfeld’s first tasks will be to engage with all the communities across Thames Valley, including in urban areas where very few people voted for him, and including the many people who are unsure about what the PCC role means. I wish him well.”
Stansfeld outlined his aims for improving policing in Thames Valley, saying, “I aim to reduce those crimes that are of the most concern to communities, and catch those committing them.”
He claimed that his victory was due to the fact that he was “the most experienced candidate.” He added, “I also have been on the Police Authority, and for the last 18 months had responsibility for Performance for Thames Police. During this period we were the most improved police force in England. I know how to run things and control large budgets.”
Several candidates criticised the low turnout. “Turnout was not satisfactory,” Stansfeld claimed, before adding, “though over 94,000 voted for me, and a large number did not vote against me!” Barry Cooper, the UKIP candidate, claimed turnout was “appalling” and blamed “the government.”
“If the new PCC does his job properly and embraces the populist, democratic elements of the role, a mandate will evolve over time. If he doesn’t, then this will have been a wasted chance for some real democracy to enter at least one facet of how we are governed.”