Conservative Chris Nelson has been re-elected as Police and Crime commissioner for Gloucestershire by a margin of just 1,486 votes.

The former Cheltenham Borough Councillor polled 47,838 ahead of his predecessor Martin Surl who received 46,352 votes as a Liberal Democrat.

Labour’s Ashley Smith was third with 35,069 votes while Independent Matthew Randolph polled 15,240.

Mr Nelson, who was not wearing a blue rosette, said he will work for all residents irrespective of their political colours.

He thanked all the election count voters, volunteers and his supporters. “It has been an extremely close election, so thank you to all of you,” he said.

“Also to my lovely wife Emma who has been at my side throughout.”

He said he was not wearing a blue rosette because he wants to emphasise he will represent all residents in the county whether they voted for him or not.

“Given it was such a close election it behoves me not to wear a rosette and not make this a political appointment and to do my best to represent the interest of every single resident.

“I just want to work with the chief constable and all my excellent staff to try and try and take the force to be one of the best in the country. I will work extremely hard to do that.

It will be Mr. Nelson’s second term in office following his election in 2021.

Because of the pandemic, Mr. Nelson’s current term in office, which officially ends on Wednesday 8 May, was for three years. He will now remain in office for the next four years. 

 He said, “Votes were spread among all four candidates and the result was much closer than last time when I had a majority of 30,000. Now it’s down to just a couple of thousand.”

The total number of ballots cast across the county was 146,357 which was a turnout was 29.5 per cent

That is nearly half the 280,611 people who turned out to vote in the Police and Crime Commissioner election in 2021.