TODAY you have the opportunity to vote for Gwent’s first Police and Crime Commissioner.

How you choose to use that opportunity, or whether you use it at all, is entirely a matter of individual choice.

We have made clear our opposition to the introduction of PCCs. We think it is an ill-conceived policy with little public support.

The elections have been poorly publicised by the government with most people having little or no idea what or who they are being asked to vote for today.

Nevertheless, these £75m elections are happening and we have done our best to explain the candidates and the issues to our readers in recent weeks.

All candidates have had election statements published, we have staged an online hustings meeting, and explained today’s voting system and the powers the PCC will have.

The likelihood remains that today’s elections will deliver the lowest-ever turnout at a national poll.

When the ‘winner’ (and we hope the PCC does not have the audacity to claim a victory if turnout is as low as predicted) is declared tomorrow, he will be one of the most powerful men in Gwent.

On a salary greater than an MP, our PCC will set both the future strategy of Gwent Police and its budget, and be able to fire the chief constable.

Whether he will have a mandate to accompany these powers is doubtful.