Ann Barnes declared Kent's new police and crime commissioner
by political editor Paul Francis
Independent candidate Ann Barnes has won the race to
become Kent's first police commissioner.
It was edge of the seat stuff for the former Kent Police
Authority chairman after she initially failed to secure the 51% of
the overall vote needed.
She and Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay then entered
the second-preference stage.
Then, at just before 5.30pm, the announcement was made - and Ann
Barnes was named the winner.
The final count saw Ms Barnes clinch 114,137 votes, with Mr
Mackinlay taking 60,248. That meant she took nearly two-thirds
(65%) of all votes cast.
Speaking after the announcement, Ms Barnes said: "I am delighted
to have won.
"The people of Kent have made their voice heard through the
"They made it clear that they didn't want Kent Police to be
politicised or under the control of party politicians."
Mr Mackinlay congratulated his opponent, telling her: "You
fought a very solid campaign and fought with a message which sound
a resonance throughout Kent.
"I hope that the people of Kent will come to recognise the
importance and significance of this role and will take part in the
elections more fully next time."
Ms Barnes gave Mr Mackinlay a battering in the first vote -
securing 8,148 votes in Ashford to his 3,630.
She went on to win Dartford, Dover, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells,
Shepway, Sevenoaks, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, Gravesham
One of Ms Barnes's biggest victories was in Maidstone,
where she beat Mr Mackinlay with 10,762 votes to just 4,310.
Medway was the final result to be revealed, but
Ms Barnes did not win enough votes to reach a 51%
Earlier, it was revealed just one in six people in Kent voted
yesterday to decide who should have
the £85,000-a-year top policing role.
As ballot papers were counted at Dover town hall this
afternoon, the county's turnout has been revealed as only
A total of 208,782 people voted in Kent out of a possible
maximum of 1.28million - meaning more than a million people did not
cast their ballot.
from top left) Steve Uncles, Harriet Yeo, Ann Barnes, Dai Liyange,
Piers Wauchope and Craig Mackinlay
The highest turnout was 20.3% in Shepway and the lowest 14.8% in
The extremely low turnout is being blamed on
a combination of low-profile election campaigns and confusion
The police commissioner role will bring to an end years of
the Kent Police Authority, in what has been described as one of the
most far-reaching reforms of policing in a generation.
The police commissioner
election count for Medway at the Medway Park sports
centre in Gillingham
The commissioner will become one of the most important
elected officials in the county.
They will oversee the strategic direction of one of the
country's largest forces and have responsibility for a
While the commissioner will not have day-to-day operational
control of the force, they will have extensive and far-reaching
powers - including setting the overall priorities for the police
and deciding how much council taxpayers should have to pay to meet
the force's running costs.
Keep up-to-date with the election count today with
KentOnline and @PaulonPolitics on
Twitter. Join the debate below.
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