Voting got off to a slow start in elections to choose the first Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales amid fears that the vast majority of electors will stay at home.
It took more than two hours for the first ballot to be cast at one polling station in Leeds, while early voting in Kent was said to be slow.
In Cambridgeshire just a handful of people made their way to a polling station in a caravan in a supermarket car-park in Fulbourn as early indications show turnout in the county could be as low as ten per cent.
Surveys suggest that the national turnout could be as low as 15 per cent â€“ a figure that would fuel accusations that the victorious candidates have a minimal democratic mandate.
The task of persuading voters to come out will not have been helped by the poor weather today across much of the country.
The contests are taking place in 41 police authority areas outside London, where Mayor Boris Johnson has oversight of the Metropolitan Police.
Apart from in Wiltshire, where counting takes place overnight, the successful candidates will be announced tomorrow afternoon.
The victors, who will earn between Â£65,000 and Â£100,000 depending on the size of their forces, will gain the power to set budgets, determine policing priorities and hire and fire chief constables.
Supporters of the concept argue that it will improve police accountability and make forces more responsive to local concerns.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, predicts the commissioners will become the â€œvoice of the peopleâ€ and would be â€œvisible, accessible and accountableâ€.
Labour is opposed to the creation of the new role but is fielding candidates across the forces â€“ including Lord Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, in Humberside â€“ claiming it will do what it can to make the system work.
Meanwhile David Cameron faces a major by-election as voters go to the polls in the parliamentary by-election in Corby, which the Conservatives are defending a slim majority.
Labour is expected to achieve a comfortable victory in the Northamptonshire constituency. William Hill yesterday quoted the party as 1/100 to win the seat.
By-elections are also taking place in Cardiff South and Manchester Central, which are both safe Labour seats.
Slow start to Police and Crime Commissioners election as fears grow that voters will stay at home