Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter has been ousted by the late-entry Conservative candidate Jonathan Evison after two vote counts.
Mr Evison, currently Mayor of North Lincolnshire, beat Mr Hunter after winning 74,534 votes compared to the loser’s 71,615. The turnout was 22%.
He had been brought in as a last-minute replacement for Craig Ulliott who stood down “for personal reasons” after his previous work experience was questioned.
PCCs are elected to oversee the work of their local police force.
The result appears to be a sign of changing times in North and North East Lincolnshire, with the latter council voting in eight new Conservatives in North East Lincolnshire.
In 2019, Lia Nici was elected as the first Grimsby Conservative MP in more than 70 years.
Mr Evison told the Local Democracy Reporter Scheme following his victory he felt “elated” to have been elected but was not surprised.
“There were no surprises given the national picture, although I came into the race late in the day. I’ve been on the Police and Crime Panel for seven years and I have good connections across the region,” he told reporters.
He said his priorities would be getting to grips with his new role, public outreach and drawing up a new policing plan which he aims to unveil by the Autumn.
Keith Hunter said he was proud to have left office after taking the “basket case” Humberside Police on to be one of the most improved forces in the country. He added he had also fallen victim to Labour’s lack of policies and direction nationally.
Mr Hunter said: “Labour don’t have any policies, you can’t have a major party going into an election without any policies. It’s like having a shop with an empty front window and hoping that someone will enter.”
Liberal Democrat Bob Morgan was eliminated after the first round of counts.
In Lincolnshire, Conservative Marc Jones retained his PCC seat with a 57% majority of the votes, from the first count.