THE deputy leader of Thurrock Council, Val Morris-Cook, has lost in her bid to become the police and crime commissioner for Essex.

Tory Nick Alston won the election following a nail-biting count in Chelmsford.

Ms Morris-Cook won the vote in Thurrock and in Harlow, but failed to win in any of the other 14 Essex districts.

Mr Alston polled 51,325 votes and was in first place, with Independent Mick Thwaites in second place, polling 40,312 votes.

But because Mr Alston failed to get 50 per cent of the vote, second preference votes were counted, making the contest a two-horse race between the Conservative and independent candidate.

Ms Morris-Cook was third after the first count, polling just under 28,000 first preference votes.

In the end, Mr Alston was declared winner, polling 62,350 votes and Mr Thwaites received 58,664.

Thurrock had the lowest turnout in Essex, with just 10.2 per cent of the electorate voting. The county turnout was 13.06 per cent.