The second largest by-election ever held in the UK takes place today.
Voters across South Yorkshire have the chance to choose a new police and crime commissioner, following the resignation in September of Shaun Wright in the wake of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal.
The total number eligible to vote is 1,008,967. Just how many of these people choose to cast their ballot will be one of the big stories of the poll. Turnout at the previous contest in 2012 was a miserable 14.5%. Today’s figure will almost certainly be lower. It may even dip below the all-time low of 10.2% seen in the West Midlands PCC by-election in August.
Such a pathetic turnout would supply more ammunition to Labour and the Liberal Democrats, both of whom have said they would scrap PCCs if they win the general election.
The other big story of the by-election will be the identity of the winner. Or more precisely, how small a margin of victory the winner will have over the runner-up.