Results and turnout at the 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner elections


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You can also download our full report, written by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher (Elections Centre, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA).


Of the 36 Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) contests in England, 20 were won by the Conservatives, 13 by Labour and 3 by Independent candidates. In Wales, Labour and Plaid Cymru won two posts each.

The electorate for the PCC contests was nearly 33.7 million –31.4 million in England and 2.25 million in Wales.

The names of some 3.0% of those on the ‘final’ register were added between December 2015 and 13 March 2016, and a further 1.5% between 13 March and the deadline of 16 April.

Nearly 9.2 million votes were cast, making the overall turnout 27.3%. This is much higher than in 2012 but clearly influenced by combining the PCC contests with other elections in both England and Wales.

The proportion of ballots rejected at the count (3.4%) was higher than at any other nationwide electoral event in recent years.

The large majority of those rejected were deemed either ‘unmarked’ or ‘void for uncertainty’, but in more than a quarter of cases more than one candidate had been chosen in the first preference column.

Some 24% of ballots were rejected at the count of second votes. In over 80% of cases this was because voters had failed to record any such second preference.

More than 5.5 million postal votes were issued - 16.4% of the entire eligible electorate. In five English counting areas more than 30% of the electorate had a postal vote.

In England, more than 60% of those with a postal ballot returned it. By way of contrast, however, fewer than 20% of those electors required to vote ‘in person’ did so.

The proportion of postal votes rejected or otherwise not included in the count was 4.4% – 4.4% in England and 5% in Wales.

Rejection following a mismatch of signature and/or date of birth was more common than rejection for incomplete information. Failing to include either the ballot paper itself or the verification statement or both was the cause of nearly a third of rejections in England but more than a half in Wales.

More than one half of one percent of electors with a postal vote were granted a waiver to use their date of birth as their sole identifier.

Just 27,500 electors (0.08% of the total) appointed proxies. 3 Summary – combined elections

In Wales every elector had the opportunity to vote in both National Assembly and PCC contests. In England 114 local authorities had both council and PCC elections and 169 had PCC contests only. 

The ballot box turnout was 32.8% in those areas of England with combined local and PCC elections; 20.2% in those places with standalone PCC contests. 

4.0% of PCC ballots cast at combined elections were rejected at the count; 2.0% of those at standalone contests. 

In areas with combined elections 67.2% of postal electors returned their ballots; in PCC only areas 54.7% did so.

Of those required to vote ‘in person’ the turnout was 26.6% where local elections were also being held; 14.0% where they were not.

Some 5.4% of the ‘votes’ of those returning postal ballots at combined elections were not sent to the count because of documentation errors compared with 3.2% of those where only a PCC election was being held.