Hampshire police commissioner electedBy Stephen Lloyd
November 16, 2012
SIMON Hayes has become Hampshire's first Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) after defeating former Fleet Conservative MP Michael Mates.
Independent Mr Hayes, a former Tory himself, scooped the £85,000-a-year post by a total of 80,669 votes to the 65,804 of Mr Mates.
Straight after the result, announced just after 4.30pm on Friday, Mr Hayes said he was "humbled" and grateful to the public for the trust they had put in him.
Mr Hayes, a criminologist and chairman of Hampshire Crimestoppers, takes up his new job on Thursday, November 22 and now has the power to hire and fire the chief constable of Hampshire Constabulary, and controls a budget of around £305m.
The 53-year-old former Conservative councillor was trailing Mr Mates by around 5,000 votes after the first round of the election.
But Mr Mates failed to secure 50% of the vote so the second preferences on ballot papers were counted.
Mr Hayes, a director of a trust that works with ex-offenders, said he was now free of political constraints and no longer a member of the Conservative Party, having last served as a councillor in 2005.
He is also a former chairman of Hampshire Police Authority, the organisation that his new PCC role replaces.
The election of PCCs for 41 forces across England and Wales was a flagship law and order policy for the Tories, but experts were predicting the worst turnout in British election history.
More than 1.23 million people eligible to vote in Hampshire decided not to do so when the polls opened on Thursday.
The turnout in Hart district was 14.9%, with 10,445 votes from an electorate of 70,010, while Rushmoor borough was the third worst turnout in Hampshire at 12.3%, with just 8,072 votes from an electorate of 65,728.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Any turnout will confer a better democratic mandate than the current invisible police authorities have.”