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Although the nominations have closed for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, the names of all the candidates have not yet been officially published. However the Police Foundation has been making an effort to keep track and their list is likely to be pretty accurate.

They include 23 Lib Dem candidates for the 41 contests. I suppose one or two of them may drop out or there may be one or two that slipped in at the last minute. The official Party website only acknowledges 13. But for the Lib Dems to be standing in roughly half the constituencies is a poor show.

This is a political party that is supposed to believe in radical change, in making the state more accountable to the citizen, and in boosting local democracy. They are also coalition partners in the Government that has brought in the reforms. Yet when it comes to it,, their response is a shrug.

On the other hand, the number of independents standing is strong – already identified at 63 although the final tally may differ. They can't be joke candidates, or if they are, it is an expensive joke. A £5,000 deposit must be paid and they won't get it back unless they obtain 5% of the vote. They also need 100 signatures on their nomination paper. Many are magistrates or former police officers (often Special Constables). They are criticised for being unknown although many will have solid following in their communities – if they were celebs I suppose they would be criticised on those grounds too.

Anyway, the Conservatives have a full list of candidates. Many of them have been campaigning hard for months. They deserve to be vigorously supported by the party locally and nationally.

The Government advertisement above is raising awareness of the elections, to help boost turnout.

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