JANE KENNEDY has been elected Merseyside's first Police and Crime Commissioner.

Ms Kennedy got 70,884 votes in the region. Her nearest rival Geoff Gubb of the Conservatives was on 15,870.

Turn out across Merseyside was 12.7per cent, while in St Helens it was 12.9.

The police and crime commissioners powers will include hiring and firing chief constables, setting budgets and strategy.

The commissioner will be held to account by a police and crime panel, made up of people from local authorities. 

The Labour candidate, a former Liverpool Wavertree MP,  vowed to work hard for Merseyside, the police and the communities that they serve.

She added: "It's an election that probably none of us wanted but I do want to thank all of those who have voted despite the low turnout."

The breakdown of the vote to local authorities, showed Ms Kennedy received 10,033 votes in St Helens 7,850 more than her nearest challenger Tory Geoff Gubb.

There were 350 spoiled ballots in St Helens.

Merseyside overall result

  • Jane Kennedy (Labour): 70,884
  • Geoff Gubb (Conservative): 15, 870
  • Kiron Reid (Independent): 14,379
  • Paula Clare Keaveney (Liberal Democrats): 9.192
  • Hilary Jane Jones (UKIP): 8,704
  • Paul Duane Rimmer (English Democrats): 7,142

Turn out: 12.7per cent

How the vote went in St Helens

  • Geoff Gubb (Conservative): 2,183
  • Hilary Jane Jones (UKIP): 1,098.
  • Paula Clare Keaveney (Liberal Democrats): 1,116
  • Jane Kennedy (Labour): 10,033
  • Kiron Reid (Independent): 1,688
  • Paul Duane Rimmer (English Democrats): 1,371

Turn out across the country for 41 Police and Crime Commissioners across England and Wales varied between 13 and 20 per cent.

Jenny Watson, Chair of the Electoral Commission, said: “The low turnout at the Police and Crime Commissioner elections is a concern for everyone who cares about democracy.

“These were new elections taking place at an unfamiliar time of year, which is why we have made clear at every stage that it would be important to engage effectively with voters.

“The Government took a number of decisions about how to run these elections that we did not agree with.

"But what is important now is that the right lessons are learnt: we will talk to voters, candidates and Returning Officers to understand what worked and what didn’t.

"The Commission is going to undertake a thorough review, and we will present our findings to Parliament in early 2013.”