Police Commissioner elections 2021

Polls for elected Police and Crime Commissioners overseeing 39 police forces in England and Wales outside of London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire take place on May 6.
The supplementary voting (SV) system is used for PCC elections, the same as for mayoral contests. Information in this advisory is similar to that in the separate advisory on mayoral polls also taking place on May 6.
Under SV, if any candidate obtains more than half the vote in the first round of voting they are elected immediately. But if no candidate achieves more than 50% the two candidates with the most votes go into a second-round contest. All the others are eliminated and their second-preference votes are distributed to the two remaining candidates to decide the outcome.
Wire messages for the Police Commissioner polls will be sent in plain text (TTY) format.
For details of messages in XML format for digital products, please see the page on XML format under Delivery Methods.
Key dates and times:

  • Nominations close: Thursday April 9 at 1600
  • Polling Day: Thursday May 6 – polling from 0700 to 2200
  • Declarations: from Friday May 7

Note the Police and Crime Commissioner polls coincide in England with other elections. It is expected the votes for most other polls will be counted first, with only a few PCC election counts taking place on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday and most coming in on the Monday.

Nominations, Wednesday April 9

Nominations for the Police Commissioner elections will be sent as soon as possible after they become available. Note that some could be delayed until late Monday April 12 and Tuesday April 13.
The nominations will be sent in collated lists on the wire in a format enabling customers not only to publish them but also set up dummy results pages. They will be sent for each police area in XML format via the FTP servers for publication by customers and for use in setting up for results.
We will send a full run of nominations as soon as possible they are all in. A revised run will be sent later in the week, resolving any issues.
Further runs will be sent as necessary with a final run in the afternoon of Wednesday May 5, the day before polling day. Note that in exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to amend nominations data for a particular area at any time up until the result for that seat is sent.
When a collated run is sent on the wire there will be a maximum of 30 areas on each page. With 39 police areas, two numbered pages can be expected when all nominations are in.
The catchline will be topic ELECTION, keywords Nominations Police.
The category code will be: XTA
Candidates will be given in the following party order: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Green and Ukip, followed by minor parties ranked alphabetically by party name.
Candidate details will give an indication if there is a sitting Member using symbols:

  • * = in the same seat
  • + = previously sat in another constituency.

Details will include: titles (except for Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms), first name, surname and party abbreviation.
The message will include a historical summary of the result from the previous election and any intervening by-election.
Note that disambiguation will be applied to all independent candidates in these elections, as well as to all No description candidates, to allow the system to differentiate between more than one Independent or ND candidate standing in the same constituency. We will amend the party title to Independent or No description followed by the candidate’s first and second names – for example, “Independent John Smith”. But the abbreviation will remain as “Ind”.
Our early nominations transmissions will include historical electorate figures but there will be a re-run as soon as the final figures PA will use for the event become available. NB This may not be until the final collated run on the afternoon of Wednesday May 5.
Example extract from collated nominations for the November 2012 polls in plain text (TTY) format on the wire:

Jas Parmar (C)
Olly Martins (Lab)
Linda Jack (LD)
Kevin Carroll (Brit Freedom)
Mezanur Rashid (Ind)

Sir Graham Bright (C)
Ed Murphy (Lab)
Rupert Moss-Eccardt (LD)
Stephen Goldspink (Eng Dem)
Ansar Ali (Ind)
Farooq Mohammed (Ind)
Paul Bullen (Ukip)

John Dwyer (C)
John Stockton (Lab)
Ainsley Arnold (LD)
Sarah Flannery (Ind)
Louise Bours (Ukip)

Ken Lupton (C)
Barry Coppinger (Lab)
Joe Michna (Green)
Sultan Alam (Ind)


As soon as the winner is declared, whether it is after the first or second round of voting, a rush message will be sent on the wire and in XML format.
The catchline on the wire will be topic POLL, keyword Police followed by the police area serial number. For example, a rush with the outcome of the Bedfordshire PCC election will be catchlined: POLL Police 2.
The category code will be: XTJ
Fictional examples of the text:

  • Conservative ex-minister Sir James Johnson elected on first count at Gloucestershire
  • Mary Collins (Ind) elected on second count at Lancashire


Detailed results will be sent after each round of voting.
They will be catchlined POLL Police followed by the police area serial number. For example, results from Cleveland will be catchlined: POLL Police 5.
The category code will be: XTP
Under first-count details, we will give candidates in vote order with their party, vote, vote share and change since the previous elections.
If a candidate is elected at this stage, there then follows the word “Elected:” followed by the winner’s name.
However, if no-one has been elected and there is to be a second round, the message will state “Eliminated:” and give the names of the eliminated candidates.
In both cases, this is followed by electorate, turnout and turnout change and the previous election summary.
A second-round result, when sent, will start with a repeat of the first-round details.
These will be followed with the names of the eliminated candidates whose votes are being distributed.
Then will follow the names of the two remaining candidates with their second-round votes only – no percentages.
Then comes the word “Elected:” followed by the winner’s name.
This is followed by electorate, turnout and turnout change and the previous election summary.
As an example, here is the result of the June 2003 North Tyneside mayoral by-election after two rounds of voting:

North Tyneside
(First Count)
Linda Arkley (C) 18,478 (43.07%, +7.21%)
Dr Gordon Adam (Lab) 13,070 (30.46%, -1.74%)
Michael Huscroft (LD) 8,404 (19.59%, -0.66%)
Robert Batten (NF) 2,554 (5.95%)
Louise van der Hoeven (Soc All) (0.93%, -2.55%)
Eliminated: Robert Batten, Michael Huscroft, Louise van der Hoeven
(Second Count)
Distribution of Batten’s, Huscroft’s and van der Hoeven’s votes
Linda Arkley (C) 21,288
Dr Gordon Adam (Lab) 16,427
Elected: Linda Arkley
Electorate 139,384; Turnout 42,906 (30.78%, -11.54%)
2002: Turnout 60,865 (42.32%)
First Count – Morgan (C) 21,829; Darke (Lab) 19,601; Huscroft (LD)
12,323; Pond (Ind PF) 4,993; Elliott (Soc All) 2,119. Elected: Morgan

If a result has to be corrected, the catchline will be styled POLL Correction Police followed by the police area number. Example: POLL Correction Police 14. Where there is a change to the winning candidate a rush correction will be sent, catchlined in the same style.


Immediately after the first first-count result we will start sending State of Parties statistics, including numbers of seats and votes won so far for parties, gains and losses, vote share and percentage change compared with the 2016 election.
These SoP statistics will be catchlined POLL Parties Police.
The category code will be: XTH
Example of SoP statistic from Police Commissioner elections in November 2012 (note that formatting on this web page is out and will be fixed):

After 25 first count results in the Police election, the party vote shares are:

Total Share
Party votes %
Lab 1,006,333 33.82
C 861,270 28.95
Ind 582,869 19.59
Ukip 236,089 7.94
LD 205,801 6.92
Eng Dem 41,300 1.39
Justice 24,443 0.82
Brit Freedom 8,675 0.29
Green 8,484 0.29
Total: 2,975,264 100.00

I In addition, a party line-up statistic will be sent frequently, catchlined POLL Commissioners Police.
The category code will be: XTH
Example of party line-up statistic:

With 37 commissioners elected out of 41 in the Police election, the party line-up is:

C 14
Lab 12
Ind 10
Zero Tolerance 1

Some other statistics may be sent, such as for turnout, using the category code: XTH

List of parties and abbreviations
Conservative – C
Labour – Lab
Liberal Democrat – LD
Plaid Cymru – PC
Green Party – Green
Reform UK – Reform
English Democrats Party – Eng Dem
Gwlad – Gwlad
Hampshire Independents – Hants Ind
Independent – Ind
Lincolnshire Independents – Lincs Ind
Propel – Propel
We Matter Party – WMP
Zero Tolerance Policing ex Chief – Zero Tolerance

Other party that stood in the PCC election on 05 May 2016:
UK Independence Party – UKIP

Quick Reference Table

Catchlines and category codes (all text):
:: Nominations: ELECTION Nominations Police – XTA
:: Rush: POLL Police (followed by police area number) – XTP
:: Result: POLL Police (followed by police area number) – XTP
:: Rush correction: POLL Correction Police (followed by police area number) – XTJ
:: Result correction: POLL Correction Police (followed by police area number) – codes as for results
:: State of Parties: POLL Parties Police – XTH
:: Party line-up statistics: POLL Commissioners Police – XTH

Elections Live Coverage
All narrative copy, reaction and analysis will run in the general news service using the usual editorial code: HHH


We will be sending test results ahead of the election. The candidate names and the voting figures will be generated at random by computer. Please see separate advisory for the provisional test programme.
All test material will be marked clearly as “PA Test” and the word “Test” will appear in fictional candidate names.
You MUST check before polling day that any test material has been cleared from your systems.

PA serial numbers and police force areas

1. Avon & Somerset
2. Bedfordshire
3. Cambridgeshire
4. Cheshire
5. Cleveland
6. Cumbria
7. Derbyshire
8. Devon & Cornwall
9. Dorset
10. Durham
11. Dyfed-Powys
12. Essex
13. Gloucestershire
14. Gwent
15. Hampshire
16. Hertfordshire
17. Humberside
18. Kent
19. Lancashire
20. Leicestershire
21. Lincolnshire
22. Merseyside
23. Norfolk
24. North Wales
25. North Yorkshire
26. Northamptonshire
27. Northumbria
28. Nottinghamshire
29. South Wales
30. South Yorkshire
31. Staffordshire
32. Suffolk
33. Surrey
34. Sussex
35. Thames Valley
36. Warwickshire
37. West Mercia
38. West Midlands
40. Wiltshire