'At a Glance' guide to the PCC elections | Fieldfisher
Skip to main content

'At a Glance' guide to the PCC elections



United Kingdom

'At a Glance' guide to the PCC elections

Now that the campaigning is nearly over, this 'At a Glance' guide to the PCC elections will assist you to prepare for tomorrow and provide some tips on key steps to be taken after the election result is declared.

Polling day and the count 

Attending electoral events

  • Both you and your agent can attend the opening of returned postal votes and can observe proceedings inside polling stations.
  • You may send other agents to attend polling stations on your behalf, but only if they have been appointed in accordance with electoral law requirements and by no later than 5 working days before the poll. The requirements for appointing polling station agents are set out below:
  • Only one of your agents may be present in a polling station at anytime.
  • You and your agent may also attend the verification and counts of the totals in your local police area, as well as the Police Area Returning Officer's calculation ofthe overall result.

Voting system

  • If you are one of two candidates, the "First Past the Post" system will apply and the candidate with the most votes will beelected.

  • If you are one of three or more candidates, the "Supplementary Vote" system is used.  This involves a "First count" when the first preference votes are countedand the candidate with 50% or more of the votes you will be elected. Ifno candidate has more than 50% of the votes, the top two candidates remain. There is then a "Second count" when the second preference votesare added to remaining candidates votes and the candidate with the mosttotal votes is elected.

Further details on your right to attend key electoral events and the voting system can be found below:

After the declaration of result

Taking up office

  • If you are successfully elected, your appointment will take effect 7 days after polling day.

  • If you are the successful candidate, you must sign the declaration of acceptance of office before you take up office.  Thedeclaration must be made within two months from the day of the election (beginning with the day following the election). If you do not submitthis declaration in time, the office will be declared vacant and aby-election will be held.
  • If you are a member of a UK national Parliament orAssembly or a member of the European Parliament, you must resign yourmembership before signing the declaration.
  • If you are a magistrate, you may wish to note the guidance by Lord Justice Goldring as Senior Presiding Judge that "magistrates should ask themselves whether it is possible to hold office both as a PCC and a magistrate.  It is the view of the senior judiciary that the two roles are not compatible, and accordingly, that any magistrate elected to be a PCC should resign as a magistrate."

  • The outcome of the election can be challenged through an election petition.

Further details on steps you need to take after the declaration of result can be found by clicking here.

Spending and returns 

  • Your deposit will be returned to you the next working day following the declaration of result if you poll more than 5% of the first preference votes across your police area.
  • All candidates must submit a spending return to the Police Area Returning Officer within 70 calendar days of the declaration of the election result.
  • The return must include details of spending, personal expenses and donations over £50 and be accompanied by a declaration that the return is complete and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief.
  • Only you, your agent or people authorised by you/your agent can incur spending during the campaign.
  • Maximum spending limits apply and will vary depending on the police area in which you are standing.
  • Activities which may count towards your spending limit include, advertising, unsolicited material sent to voters, public meetings, staff/administrative costs, transport and accommodation.
  • Personal expenses do not count towards your spending limit, but must be recorded and reported on your spending return after the election. You can pay up to £5,000 in personal expenses (your agent must pay any sums above this amount).
  • Donations are money, goods or services which have a value of over £50 and are given without charge or on non-commercial terms for the purpose of meeting your campaign spending.
  • Donations may only be accepted from "permissible donors", which must be individuals registered on a UK electoral register, a Great Britain registered political party or a UK company or organisation.

Further details on spending and returns can be found by clicking here.

Post-election timetable 

22 November 2012

Elected PCCs will take office

6/7 December 2012*

Last day for receipt of invoices for election spending

13/14 December 2012*

Last day for payment of invoices for election spending

15 January 2013

Last day for successful candidate to submit declaration of acceptance of office

24/25 January 2013*

Last day for submitting election spending return

7 working days from the day the candidate's spending return is submitted

Last day for receipt of candidate's declaration as to election expenses

* depending on whether the election result is declared before midnight on 15 November or on 16 November.