Tory Katy Bourne has been named Sussex Police’s first crime commissioner after coming out on top during last Friday’s count.
The Conservative candidate beat her Labour rival Godfrey Daniel into second place, but not before a second count was needed after none of the five hopefuls managed to win the magic 50 per cent during the first round.
With the Tory frontrunner only managing 32 per cent of first choice votes, the bottom three candidates were eliminated and their supporters’ second choice votes distributed to the top two.
And that saw Mrs Bourne over the finish line meaning she will now take up the £85,000 a year job as head of Sussex Police.
In her new role, Mrs Bourne will be given control of Sussex Police’s £250million plus annual budget but begins her spell in the job with the force facing pressure to cut costs by around £50million before 2015.
In total, once the second choices had been redistributed, Mrs Bourne secured 80,028 votes compared to the 55,602 people across the county who backed current Hastings councillor Godfrey Daniel.
David Rogers, the Liberal Democrat choice, managed 20,579 first choice votes, UKIP’s Tony Armstrong, UKIP got 29,327 and the only independent candidate, Ian Chisnall, managed to end up third overall with 38,930 votes.
However, the turn-out was a miserable 15 per cent in Sussex as thousands of people stayed away from the polls.
Many said they simply were not given enough information to decide who to back while others stayed away from the booths in protest against what critics have described as the politicisation of the police.
Turn-out in Eastbourne was slightly higher than average but, at 17.08 per cent, still considerably lower than what would be expected for a general election or council voting.
Mrs Bourne received 1,471 votes in Eastbourne while Cllr Daniel managed 1,145.