David Cameron says the low voting numbers were to be expected. “It takes time to explain a new post,” he said, and predicted voting numbers will be “much higher next time round”.

A representative from the Electoral Commission said the turnout was “a concern for everyone who cares about democracy,” reported the BBC.

The new police commissioners will have the power to make decisions at the highest levels, including setting strategy and budgets.

The coalition government says police and crime commissioners (PCCs) will offer people more control over policing. Others argue that the lack of voters means that people don’t want PCCs at all.

In Gwent, the turnout was embarrassingly less than 15 per cent and one polling station in Newport was not visited at all.

The results are in for the by-election, Labour candidate Lucy Powell has remained in her seat for the Manchester Central area, and the party also won Corby. Andy Sawford won the seat.

Winston Roddick, was voted in in North Wales, he’s the first independent candidate to be voted in as police commissioner.

Dorset’s first police and crime commissioner is  Martyn Underhill, who worked on the Sarah Payne murder case.

Images: Getty