36% of people in our poll say they'll not vote in police chief election next week
MORE than a third of respondents to a Derby Telegraph poll have said they will not vote in next week's police and crime commissioner elections.
517 people out of 1,433, or 36%, who voted online said they would not choose any of the four candidates seeking the £75,000-a-year role.
The poll, which has been running on www.thisis derbyshire.co.uk for more than two weeks, is now closed.
421 voters, or 29%, said they would vote for Labour's Alan Charles, 133 people, or 9% for UKIP's David Gale, 145 voters, or 10% said they would choose independent Rod Hutton and 217 people, or 15% chose Tory Simon Spencer.
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The fifth option, which said, "I will not be voting", polled the most votes.
The results come as the Shadow Policing Minister, Labour MP David Hanson, slammed the elections.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme yesterday, he said: "With these elections just over a week away, the Home Secretary needs to take responsibility for the shambolic way they have been organised.
"This Government has failed to sell their flagship policy and by holding these new elections in the dark and cold month of November, with little publicity, it is hardly a surprise that the Home Secretary did not want to comment on turnout.
"The Electoral Reform Society has warned that we are facing the prospect of the lowest turnout of any nationwide election in British history – and if this is the case, then it is the Home Secretary who is to blame."
More than 700,000 people in Derbyshire will be eligible to vote in next Thursday's election.
The commissioner will replace the existing police authority, which will hold its last meeting tomorrow.
Whoever the public vote in will have the power to set the police budget, the council tax precept and hire and fire the chief constable.
The role was introduced by the Tory-led Coalition Government. It will last until 2016, when the public will vote again.
Last week the Derby Telegraph asked each of the candidates for their views on our interim poll figures that showed 30% of people would not be voting. The Green Party said it was encouraging its members not to vote.
At the time, Mr Spencer said: "I think it is quite irresponsible to encourage people not to vote."
Mr Hutton said: "Not engaging with this process denies their members a coordinated voice in what matters to them."
Mr Charles said: "If people do not vote then the danger is they are going to end up with someone responsible for policing Derbyshire they do not want."
And Mr Gale said: "Not taking part means that you give up on democratic rights that people have fought and died for."
Speaking yesterday, Mr Hanson said: "Labour opposed these new positions and we have serious concerns about the way in which the elections have been handled.
"At the cost of £100 million, the money being spent to bring them in would be better spent on 3,000 new police constables. I hope people will use the police and crime commissioner elections to send a tough message to the Government that they've got it wrong on policing and crime."