Turnout was low and contest close

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Conservative candidate Tim Passmore was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk after 16.01 per cent of voters took to the poll last Thursday.

The father-of-three beat Labour’s Jane Basham after second preference votes were counted, securing a total of 36,946 votes to her 35,005.

While disappointed at voter turnout, he said: “I’m delighted and humbled, and I feel privileged. It’s a historic occasion to be elected the first police commissioner for Suffolk.”

He added: “I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s not going to be easy but I think it’s an opportunity to move things forward for Suffolk as a whole.”

David Cocks, Independent, and Bill Mountford, UKIP, were eliminated in the first count, where no candidate had more than 50 per cent of the vote but Ms Basham beat Mr Passmore by 162 votes, and voters’ second preferences were counted.

Mr Passmore said: “Had it been First Past The Post, the result would have been different but I have been in other elections where I narrowly missed out. Those were the rules and that was the way it went.

“What was encouraging about the second preference is that I received a majority across the whole of Suffolk.

“It was close on the first round, we agreed with the results and it went down to the second round, where there was a clear majority.”

Yesterday, Mr Passmore stepped down as leader of Mid Suffolk District Council but he has received some criticism for remaining a councillor.

He said: “I will be staying on as a councillor, as I said I would right at the beginning of the campaign. You are supposed to be able to fit borough duties around a full time job.

“If I find it becomes intangible I will think again but I don’t envisage it being a problem.

“Anyway, maintaining a link with local government could be quite advantageous because we’re going to have to start working together a lot more.”

Replacing the unelected police authority, PCCs have responsibility for the budget and setting local policing priorities.