UKIP poster S Yorks PCC election pic.twitter.com/KJCY4epfQw
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) October 31, 2014
Is this another victory for the purples?
The big news this morning should come from South Yorkshire where counting takes place in the Police and Crime Commissioner by-election – only the second to be held since these new elected positions were created two years ago.
This has been set against the background of the Rotherham scandal which UKIP (see above) has been featuring strongly in its campaign. The area is largely dominated by Labour strongholds which in normal times should have been enough to guarantee the red team victory.
But these are not normal times as we saw in the Heywood and Middleton by-election at the start of October. UKIP is making serious inroads into place like this and yesterday’s election presented a huge opportunity. We’ll know later this morning whether they’ve managed to pull it off.
If UKIP have ended up as victors it will add to the party’s momentum in the final three weeks of campaigning in Rochester where the polling and the betting suggests that it is heading for a comfortable victory.
A UKIP defeat could just take the edge off the party’s progress. South Yorkshire is much more challenging than Rochester where the sitting MP, Mark Reckless, stepped down to fight the seat after defecting to Farage’s party.
What could make today’s count and result interesting is that the election is not held under first past the post. If on the first count a candidate has not secured 50% of the votes then second preferences will be taken into account.