Inquiry into why so many shunned polls
THE Electoral Commission has announced a review of the police and crime commissioner elections, warning that record-low participation levels of well below 20% were "a concern for everyone who cares about democracy".
Its chair, Jenny Watson, said: "These were new elections taking place at an unfamiliar time of year, which is why we have made clear at every stage that it would be important to engage effectively with voters. The Government took a number of decisions about how to run these elections that we did not agree with.
"But what is important now is that the right lessons are learnt: we will talk to voters, candidates and returning officers to understand what worked and what didn't.
"The commission is going to undertake a thorough review, and we will present our findings to Parliament in early 2013."
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Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that the new commissioners do have a mandate.
"The turnout was always going to be low when you're electing a new post for the first time," he said.
"But remember, these police and crime commissioners are replacing organisations that weren't directly elected at all."