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No votes at PCC polling station

The police and crime commissioner elections in Wales have been branded a shambles after it emerged that one polling station received no votes.

Voters went to the polls on Thursday when elections were held in all parts of England and Wales outside London. The turnout for Wales's four police forces ranged from 14.3% to 17.1%.

Sources said there was one polling station in Newport where no votes were cast in the election for Gwent police commissioner - though Newport Council declined to say where.

There had been warnings about low turnout throughout the campaign for the elections. Home Secretary Theresa May has insisted the commissioners would have a mandate to act as the "voice of the people" no matter how many voters took part.

But Stephen Brooks, director of the Electoral Reform Society in Wales, criticised the UK Government's handling of the elections.

"This election has been a comedy of errors from start to finish," he said. "Counting staff sat idle today because voters yesterday knew next to nothing about the role, let alone the candidates they were expected to pick from.

"There have been avoidable errors at every step, and those responsible should be held to account. It's clear the architects of the localism agenda need to get back to the drawing board.

"Few people could object to the idea of bringing power closer to the people, it's just the cack-handed way the UK Government has tried to deliver on that promise."

The turnout for South Wales, which has Wales's biggest force, was 15.1%. Merthyr Tydfil had the lowest turnout at 11.9% and the Vale of Glamorgan had the highest at 19.62% In North Wales turnout was 15.4%, ranging from 12.24% in the Wrexham area to 17.85% on Anglesey.

The turnout in Dyfed-Powys, with two candidates standing, was 17.1%. Turnout across Gwent was 14.3%.

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