Merseyside Police Commissioner voting system could throw up surprises
WHILE the bookies’ favourite is Labour’s Jane Kennedy for Merseyside’s first police commissioner, the way in which the vote will be conducted means nothing is for certain, writes Political Reporter Marc Waddington.
Most elections Merseysiders take part in are decided by the traditional first-past-the-post system, in which the candidate with the most votes takes all.
But the police commissioner elections will be won or lost by the supplementary vote system, which relies on electors choosing a first and second choice candidate.
If the candidate with the most votes does not win over 50%, the second choices of all who did not vote for that candidate as their first choice are then added to the results until a winner is found. And that can make for some really big surprises.
Some voters will not put down a second choice at all, as is their right. However, those that do who are voting for one of the main political parties first and foremost are unlikely to chose a candidate drawn from one of the other main parties as their second preference.
Such circumstances are favourable to independents, so if the well-documented Labour voter apathy stands and Jane Kennedy does not score more than 50% of voters who do bother to turnout, then Independent Kiron Reid may be in with a chance.