Conservative Matthew Scott wins third term as police commissioner

Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott

By Local Democracy Reporter Simon Finlay

Conservative Matthew Scott was voted back into the office of Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, albeit with a reduced share of the vote.

He defeated Lenny Rolles (Labour) and Graham Colley (Liberal Democrat) to secure his third four-year term in office.

Observers were unsure how Mr Scott would fare in the face of challenges facing his party at a national level.

Mr Scott said the result had “bucked” the national trend against the Conservatives seen in recent days at town halls across the country.

On a turnout of 20.22%, he eased past his rivals with a 44% share of the vote.

The result of the election for the £88,000 a year role was announced this afternoon (Sunday, May 5) in the council chamber at Gravesham Borough Council’s civic centre.

The number of voters who turned out (273,278) was down on 2021 (420,422).

Mr Scott said: “I am absolutely thrilled. It is a clear and decisive win. I know I have made a lot of promises to the people of Kent and I absolutely intend to deliver them.

“I will cut crime and support crime victims and will build trust. I thank the people of Kent for putting their faith in me for a third time.

“I think it is about who you can trust on policing and crime. I have a very clear message – I am going to deliver more neighbourhood policing, I am going to cut crime and support victims and tackle antisocial behaviour. Those things resonated and those are the things the residents of Kent told me they wanted to see.”

Mr Scott said he always expected it to be a “tough” election this year.

He added: “I am pleased with the result, which has bucked the national trend for the Conservatives, but I am not going to take for granted those who voted for me or indeed those who voted against me or stayed at home. I am here for everybody.”

Chief Constable for Kent Tim Smith said: “I look forward to continuing my productive working relationship with Mr Scott as we continue to deliver the Police and Crime Plan and work together to keep Kent one of the safest places in the country.”

Defeated Labour candidate Lenny Rolles, who won 34% of the vote, said: “I am pleased with what we achieved in many ways in this election. It was always going to be an uphill struggle.

“But if you look at the communities across Kent and Medway, like Canterbury, Dover and Deal, the coastal communities and here in Gravesham, we have seen a swing to Labour. Labour actually won the popular vote in those areas and it is a demonstration of the fact that people are fed up with Conservative policies.

“I would really like to thank everyone who voted for me, the Labour activists and everyone who’s been out there on the streets to get us the result we’ve got.”

Liberal Democrat Graham Colley said: “I am very pleased to have increased my personal vote but I also believe that the turnout reinforces our belief that the role of the police and crime commissioner should be abolished.”

The field of candidates shrunk this year, not least because they must each poll at least 5% or lose the £5,000 deposit.

Mr Scott said he was “disappointed” at the turnout although some observers in Kent predicted it would be much lower.

He added: “It would probably make more sense to coincide the election with the Kent County Council polls every four years.”

Mr Scott will be in post until 2028.

The commissioner won his first election in 2016 but the 2020 election was postponed because of COVID-19 and held the following year.

In 2021, Mr Scott enjoyed a huge majority of more than 130,000 over his nearest rival on a turnout of 420,422 voters, or 31.8%. The result was –  Matthew Scott, Conservative: 237,278 (56%); Lola Oyewusi, Labour: 103, 807 (24%); Graham Colley, Lib Dem: 69,464 (16%).

As Mr Scott received more than 50% of the valid preference votes, there was no need to count the second preference votes.

THE RESULT

Matthew Scott (Conservative) – 120, 491 (44%)

Lenny Rolles (Labour) – 92, 508 (34%)

Graham Colley (Liberal Democrat) – 60, 279 (22%)

Turnout: 20.22%

Voters: 273, 278

 

43 Comments

  1. “will cut crime and support crime victims and will build trust.

    […].

    I think it is about who you can trust on policing and crime. I have a very clear message – I am going to deliver more neighbourhood policing, I am going to cut crime and support victims and tackle antisocial behaviour”
    He’s already had 8 years, and not achieved these things. Why will the next 4 be any different?

    • According to the latest Birchington Parish magazine, crime figures locally have largely gone down. I guess Ramsgate is a harder nut to crack.

        • Exactly, Phyllis. There is no evidence that Ramsgate is crime-free, or that there has been any decrease in crime. Still, not everyone can live in areas free from commoners.

        • Well, Ms Svinyard, Peter as we may now call him (but for some reason, I don’t want to) has certainly misread some previous comments – I have never said that there was no crime in Ramsgate.

    • Exactly Andrew, this is a non job! I tried to get Scott to make the Kent police enforce the law (The Animal Welfare Act) which they constantly fail to do! This means its left up to a charity to do so, but they are not a branch of the police cannot be held publicly accountable, and are not fit for purpose. I reported on a number of occasions dogs that were being ill treated, but no action was taken, despite people committing at least 3 offences under the Animal Welfare Act. Why are the police not taking action, and leaving it up to a charity? Simple, they don’t have a budget for it, if it means seizing dogs and putting them into private kennels! Why won’t Mr Scott take action, after all on average over 20,000 people, mostly children are attacked by dogs each year, nationally, yet the police do nothing BEFORE hand if a dangerous dog is reported to them, they only react AFTER someone, a child, is attacked, Duuurh.

  2. Gerrymandering by the Government to abolish the more democratic run off system. Lib Dims played along with this and by standing ensured we have a Tory PCC. To its credit the Green Party saw this and did not stand. In parts of England Tory PCCs disgracefully intervene to stop foxhunting from being prosecuted. I would seek our one’s assurance that he will not do such things. At least it was a sign that Kent is now changing fairly rapidly and I’d no longer a “Tory rotten borough”!

    • ‘Tory PCC’s disgracefully intervene to stop fox hunting from being prosecuted’ Name them please.

  3. That’s a shame yet another waste of public money. Yet another one claiming money under false pretences.

  4. After 66 postings about a Town Council by-election where the more deluded amongst us,tried to suggest that there was a Tory revival in the offing, even when the successful candidate was a TIG, beggars belief.
    Here statements about ‘bucking the trend’ are equally delusional.Even the PM is only punting a hung parliament on very thin evidence. The momentum at the moment is with the opposition of whatever sort. True miracles sometimes do happen,but unless there is some compelling reason to vote for an incompetent and fractious government,I think most observers accept that the public want rid of the Tories and probably the so called ‘free market ‘ with them.This does not mean an end to capitalism, but it does mean an end to casino capitalism and unjust enrichment by a minority.
    How Labour or anyone else are going to achieve this is another matter.More of the same is not an option.

    • We need Boris back! Add a touch of Nige, and they’d be amost guaranteed victory. Dishy Rishi is lovely, but a bit wishy-washy.

        • Stevie – now go and see the comment below where I said I’d vote for Khan if I lived in London… or do you consider him a liar and incompetent too?

          Whatever one things of Boris (and to a much lesser extent Nigel), he’s popular with voters.

      • I am guessing here Peter you are just trying to wind us up! Incidentally I have been meaning to ask for a long time, but do your make your own dresses? I think I saw you in Ramsgate a little while ago, tall over 6ft, slim but wearing a frock I can only imagine you bought from a Charity shop years ago, or it was something you ran up yourself!

    • Indeed… which is why those whining about the Tory candidate winning should’ve left their keyboards and took the time to vote! I did mine via post yonks ago.

  5. Thanet area along side Canterbury and dover voted labour. West kent voted Tory.

  6. What a ludicrous comment by the Lib Dem candidate: “I want this £88,000 job but I believe it should be abolished!” Doh! Typical Lib-Dem head-in-the-clouds waffle.

  7. What qualifications does Scott have? Where did he come from?
    Can he provide proof that he has improved the policing in kent. ?

    • Perhaps Ken, crime commissioners candidates should show their CVs,and if up for re election should have to list their achievements, with backed up evidence of their input. Also should list any interest personally such as in business, after independent due diligence the public can select there most suitable candidate. They would never do this however, it means some of them would be excluded and they would have to be transparent. Good idea for MPs and Cllrs to.

  8. East and North Kent showed predominently Labour vote. It was the leafy West what won it.

  9. Matthew Scott is a nice middle of the road Tory, not at all in the Braverman section of the Tory party, but a caped crusader he ain’t.
    If Labour get round to restructuring and devolving local government after 50 years of failure then a small savings would be to abolish this useless position.
    The public remain unconvinced after 12 years of this pointless job, and turnout remains persistently low.
    Birchington is a middle class pensioner pocket,and to compare it to Ramsgate which is 10 times it’s size with all sorts of deprivation is bonkers.Ramsgate is safe, but it will suffer higher car crime for instance, simply because of its size.
    We know Ms Pink of old, she hates women but wants to be one, hates the poor because they are poor, and now her prejudice is turned against a Town that has as many virtues as vices.

    • An area of ANY size can see a rise or fall of crime. Which is it for your area, hater of everyone who has an opinion different from your own?

      Oops, I forgot. You don’t even live here.

  10. I am glad he won, but what is disappointing, is the amount of people who voted. It should be everyone’s civic duty to go to the ballot box and vote, even if they spoil their paper so their vote doesn’t count , they should have to make the effort to go to the polling station.
    In my view if don’t get to the polling station or use a postal or proxy vote you should face a financial penalty.

    • So they need to go to the polling station to vote & then not vote by spoiling their ballot? So it would still be the same-no vote 7 they wouldn;t have done their’civic duty’ makes as much sense as the Rwanda/Floating Barge nonsense & everything else that comes out of the Tories mouths.

      Maybe politics should try to appeal more to people-rather than alienating them with their lies/gaslighting, corruption/snouts in the trough mentality, punishing the poorest, acting like squabbling children in parliament & the media etc. That is why people lose interest & think nothing will change no matter who they vote for.

    • I agree. .. as long as what people are being obliged to vote for are worthwhile. MPs, Local Councillors. But making it an offence not to trudge out to vote for a meaningless entity such as the Crime Commissioner?

  11. Even in the safe blue wall of Kent the Tories popularity has plummeted-he is in, but more people stayed home & his share dropped by 12%. Hopefully Labour will abolish these pointless roles when they win the election.

  12. Except in London, where Sadiq Khan easily won after all the screaming about ULEZ and the persistent anti Muslim trolling orchestrated by CC office.Khan managed the Gaza issue better than Starmer, and all the hoeey caused by the Uxbridge by-election over ULEZ proved to be hot air so there was never a need for the Labour party to back peddle over green policies.

    • As a non-driver and frequent public transport user, I too would vote for Khan if I lived in London. It’s not all about party politics y’know.

      • Glad to hear it.As a driver, I advocate and use public transport in urban areas and advocate a decent level of service (not less than an hourly service from at least 7am to 7pm) in rural areas.
        It’s also time we did something about pollution caused by transport systems in Kent.Unlike London it is not even measured effectively.

        • And, unlike London, much of Kent doesn’t have anywhere near as good a public transport network. Nor would it be financially viable (hourly bus services from places like Reculver and Preston have been axed because the buses were often empty).

  13. A quick glance reveals that the Labour and Lib Dems combined got way more votes than the Tory. A good argument for the two Parties to come to some agreement over which one should stand rather than split the anti- Tory vote. Its not as if the PCC role is remotely useful(though it MIGHT be useful if it involved overall input into where Police resources are directed). And its not as if there is really much difference in policy or attitude between Starmer Labour and the Lib Dems anyway. ( Maybe the Lib Dems tend to be a bit more progressive while the Starmer Party seems closer to the Tories.) But,as I say, so little difference I wonder why they bother pretending to have a battle. About what?

  14. Why is the role of crime commissioner affiliated to a political party,is this not a conflict of interest? The role should be completely independent and preferably candidates should have tactical, military, Police experience to better understand the requirements. At the very least not be political party connected.

    • I agree, though I’d go much further than that and remove party politics from ALL council elections.

  15. Good idea, but Good luck with that. It’s a great check and balance against MPs and little islander mentality and self serving empire builders.

  16. So he is going to tackle crime. What has he been doing for the last eight years? At eighty grand a year that is him sorted for the next for years. A totally unnecessary role.

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