Wales politics

Zero turnout at Newport polling station in PCC election

The BBC understands the polling station was is in the Bettws ward, with reports that it was at this cricket club Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption The BBC understands the polling station was is in the Bettws ward, with reports that it was at this cricket club

A polling station in the election for Gwent's police and crime commissioner had a turnout of zero.

It is understood the polling station is in the Bettws ward in Newport.

The turnout across Gwent was 14%, with former police officer Ian Johnston, an independent candidate, beating the Labour challenger Hamish Sandison on second preferences.

Voters went to the polls on Thursday when elections were held in all parts of England and Wales outside London.

There are more than 100 polling stations in Newport.

Newport councillor Kevin Whitehead, Independent member for the city's Bettws ward, said it was "staggering" that a polling station had failed to register a single vote.

"It's just apathy. I think apathy rules when it comes to politics in general," he said.

"People are more concerned with the bigger picture like the recession."

Conservative councillor Matthew Evans, who is the leader of the opposition on Newport council, said the fact nobody had voted at a polling station "doesn't show anybody in a particularly good light".

However, he said he was not surprised there was a low turnout generally in the elections.

"Clearly, if you've got a polling station where nobody turns up, it's extremely disappointing," he said.

"It's quite frankly a daft time of the year to have an election - it's cold and miserable.

"It wasn't a topic that people felt passionately about."

Labour's Newport West MP Paul Flynn, whose constituency includes Bettws, said he believed a lack of enthusiasm for the elections from the Conservative Party which introduced the policy had contributed to the low turnout.

But he admitted another factor was the lack of trust in politics and lack of confidence in politicians generally.

The total turnout for Wales was 14.9%.

Low turnout in commissioner polls

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