MATTHEW Barber is the next police and crime commissioner for the Thames Valley area. 

The Conservative candidate won with 313,148 votes. 

Labour's candidate Laetisia Carter came second with 233,446 votes

The election was so close after the first preference votes were tallied that officials were forced to count second people’s choices last night. 

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the PCC role

Initially, Mr Barber, who is the current deputy PCC, was in the lead with 267,404 first preference votes. 

Ms Carter was marginally behind with 175,123. 

John Howson, standing for the Liberal Democrats secured 110,072 votes and Alan Robinson, who stood as an independent, got 77,210 ballots. 

The two candidates with the lowest votes were eliminated leaving it neck and neck between the two main political parties. 

But neither of the leading candidates secured 50 per cent of the first preference votes – meaning the second preference votes of everyone who didn’t vote for Mr Barber or Ms Carter were counted. 

READ MORE: Q&A with police and crime commissioner candidate Laetisia Carter

By 6pm the press at the Spiceball Leisure Centre said they assumed they were in it for the long haul after Tory candidate Mr Barber arrived with a pizza. 

But within an hour, at 7.30pm, the next police and crime commissioner was announced. 

In the second round – Mr Barber secured 45,744 votes and Ms Carter had 58,323 more crosses to her name. 

Wednesday will be the current PCC, Anthony Stansfeld’s, last day in the office before Mr Barber takes over the reigns on Thursday.

Currently, the deputy PCC is on a salary of £65,000.

The new role pays £86,700. 

The number of ballot papers rejected after the first preference count was 16,011. 

READ MORE: Q&A with police and crime commissioner candidate Matthew Barber

They were binned after: 55 were left without an official mark, 5,235 had more than one candidate listed, 23 were not marked properly, 7,533 were unmarked and 3,165 were uncertain. 

In the second preference vote count 15,750 ballots were dismissed. 

The majority, 15,388 of those, were rejected after the second box was unmarked. 

Another 173 were discharged when more than one candidate was marked as a second preference and 189 were also void after uncertainty about who the second vote was for. 

The role of the police and crime commssioner, which was created in November 2012,   is to set out the way crime is tackled by police. 

They do this by making a 'police and crime plan' - a document that outlines how much money the police expect to have in the next three years - the length of term in the office - and how they plan to use the cash to cut crime in the area. 

The document is then used by the chief constable, currently John Campbell, for operational policing. 

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or 01865 425 445.