‘Comedy or errors’ election as voters decide to stay at home

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The police and crime commissioner elections in Wales have been branded a shambles after it emerged that one polling station received no votes.

Voters went to the polls yesterday when elections were held in all parts of England and Wales outside London.

The turnout for Wales’s four police forces ranged from 14.3 per cent to 17.1 per cent.

Sources said there was one polling station in Newport where no votes were cast in the election for Gwent police commissioner – though Newport Council declined to say where.

There had been warnings about low turnout throughout the campaign for the elections.

Home Secretary Theresa May has insisted the commissioners would have a mandate to act as the “voice of the people” no matter how many voters took part.

But Stephen Brooks, director of the Electoral Reform Society in Wales, criticised the UK Government’s handling of the elections.

“This election has been a comedy of errors from start to finish,” he said. “It’s clear the architects of the localism agenda need to get back to the drawing board. Few people could object to the idea of bringing power closer to the people, it’s just the cack-handed way the Government has tried to deliver on that promise.”