Conservatives win Gloucestershire PCC election

Chris Nelson speaking into a microphone
Chris Nelson has held onto his position as Gloucestershire's PCC [BBC]

Conservative Chris Nelson has kept his position as Gloucestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner after a tight race.

He narrowly beat the Liberal Democrats' Martin Surl, claiming 47,838 votes, to Mr Surl's 46,352 votes.

Labour's Ashley Smith finished third with 35,069 votes and independent candidate Matthew Randolph received 15,240 votes.

Turnout was significantly down from 40.9% at the last election in 2021 to 29.5%.

Mr Nelson said: “I just want to work with the Chief Constable and all my excellent staff to try and try and take the force to be one of the best in the country. I will work extremely hard to do that.”

He decided not to wear a blue rosette signifying he is a Conservative while making his speech after the results.

“Given it was such a close election, it behoves me not to wear a rosette and not make this a political appointment and to do my best to represent the interest of every single resident."

Mr Surl was the county's PCC between 2012-21 as an Independent. He lost to Mr Nelson in 2021 and decided to run again this year, but with the Liberal Democrats.

Martin Surl in the room where vote counting was taking place
Liberal Democrat candidate Martin Surl came a close second in the vote [BBC]

The number of verified ballot papers was 146,347 well under the 280,611 in 2021 which was the highest on record for a Gloucestershire PCC election.

However, this year's 29.5% is not the lowest it has ever been, with 2012 seeing just a 16% turnout.

Police and Crime Commissioners were first introduced in 2012 in a bid to reform policing, and are paid an annual salary of about £88,000 in a full-time position.

Their main roles include holding police constabularies to account, deciding how much money the public should contribute to policing through council tax, and cutting crime through means such as outreach programmes.

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