This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The second preference

This morning in Oxford, one long time Labour supporter told me that he was going to vote Lib Dem for the first time in his life as his second preference. 

I have been interested in people's second preferences and earlier blogged about how I had cast my second preference vote. And so at the Oxford hustings a few days ago, I placed this question in the box but there was not time for all the questions to be answered. However, the chair said he would bring all the questions to the attention of the candidates so that they could reply individually. I received (UKIP) Barry Cooper's answer this morning.

First my question was 
You will all of course be giving your own first preference vote to yourselves. But you and everyone else have a second preference vote too. Will you be using your second preference to vote? If so, who for and why? If not, why will you not be casting a second vote?
Here is his answer which he was happy for me to blog:
I am telling people to vote for the person they think will do the job almost as well as me!

On a more serious note, in my opinion there are two answers here. If you are happy with how things have been run for years and you are looking for some continuity and actual “small c” conservative values, Anthony Stansfeld is the best second choice – he is not a “modernised” Tory and I still think his rosette should be purple and not blue given how much he has tried to “out UKIP” me at several hustings! Of the other party affiliated candidates, I think he is also the least likely to allow himself to be used as a simple mouth-piece for his party, although whether that will be possible considering the presence of the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and Attorney General in the Thames Valley still concerns me.
If you are looking for the person who will most likely embrace the democratic element of the role almost as much as me (although I am less comfortable with his general politics than I am with Anthony’s), then it has to be Tim Starkey. A big concern for me here is that there will likely be a Labour government again in 2015, and I think Tim is a bit too much of a Labour “true believer” to act truly independently from his party and fight against them to protect the police. But both are head and shoulders above the other options (and the prospect of one person in particular getting in frankly terrifies me), and one of these two will get my second preference; I will probably not decide which until polling day.
So there you have it - Barry Cooper will be either voting Tory or Labour. You heard it here first!

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