Are political parties in decline? Independents hail police commissioner results
VOTERS are increasingly turning their backs on the main political parties in East Yorkshire, independents claim.
Last week's regional police and crime commissioner election saw ex-police officer Paul Davison come a strong third after standing as an independent.
He finished just behind eventual Conservative winner Matthew Grove in the first preference vote.
He finished ahead of UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom and Liberal Democrat candidate and former city council leader Simone Butterworth.
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Members of the East Yorkshire Independents party backed Mr Davison's campaign.
Chairman Peter Hemmerman said: "We had to acknowledge late on in the campaign that the Humberside Police area was too large for independents to have any chance of covering with leaflets and meetings.
"But the magnificent showing by Paul Davison indicates a high level of support for independent candidates, which was repeated across the country."
Two other independents – Walter Sweeney and Neil Eyre – polled more than 9,000 first-preference votes between them.
The East Yorkshire Independents are expected to challenge for a number of seats in East Riding Council at the next election in 2014.
In nearby Lincolnshire, former TV presenter Alan Hardwick was elected as the county's police and crime commissioner after standing as an independent.
He said: "I am an independent and I do not have any political masters.
"My only concern is for the welfare, the safety and security of the people of Lincolnshire and nothing will get in the way of that."
Meanwhile, Mr Bloom said he was just happy to have played a part in John Prescott's defeat in the commissioner election.
He said: "All my supporters, not just in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire but across the country, will know what I mean when I say 'main mission accomplished'."
Councillor Butterworth said: "We ran John Prescott close in the Hull-wide vote and finished in a solid second place in the city.
"Our vote share in Hull was one of the best results for the Lib Dems in the country so I am happy.
"I am also pleased my campaign to cut the police commissioner's salary struck a chord with people and I hope Mr Grove will seriously think about taking the pay cut I would have taken."