A “Boris in every city” rejected at the polls

David Cameron’s vision of strong elected personalities leading cities across England [Ed – aren’t those called councillors?] has been rejected by nearly all those cities who held mayoral referendums on Thursday.

May 2012 mayoral referendum results

With all the city referendums now counted, Bristol is the only new city to support the switch to having a directly elected mayor. However, the Doncaster electorate overwhelming voted (62% in favour) to keep their elected mayor.

Turnout was underwhelming, between 24-35%. Apathy rules.

Perhaps a matter of people liking elected mayors once they have one, but being hard to convince that the change (and expense) is worth it?

Still, makes you wonder who could be elected as the ‘Boris’ of Belfast, Derry, Lisburn, Newry … or Ballymena!

  • Drumlins Rock

    Alan, I was generally sceptical of the elected mayor ideas, not liking the “personality” factor, however the election results today have made me think again, in London they ( probably) elected the person they want for the job, not the party, wheras in the most of the rest of the country it seems to be treated as an expensive opinion poll. The local elections aren’t about sending a message to the government, they are about ELECTING COUNCILLORS. A good conservative councillor should not be sacked because of Osborne’s budget, just the same when Labour was in power. If it takes a mayor to make people thake local government seriously then maybe it is a good idea. Maybe each voter should be given an opinon ballot at the same time, record their protest there and deliver a message that way.

    Frank Carson would have made a great Mayor of Belfast!

  • veryoldgit

    We English don’t want City Mayors we want an English Parliament in or out of the UK. I prefer out of the UK.
    When are the gravy train Westminster politicians going to unblock their fat ears and listen?

  • Mick Fealty

    Great name!! In London there was some kind of need to have unified oversight. Not sure either Ken or Boris was able demonstrate any kind of effectiveness on that score.

    They are modeled on the French/US basis where the Mayor has considerable executive powers. Boris/Ken have consultative powers over the police. Control over London Transport and a large Development Fund.

    That’s it.

    Strikes me that Mayors are more visible than councils, but are also less problematic to control.

  • DC

    I’d wager that the public see any would-be Mayor in the same light as the Prime Minister in that any one person in charge usually sides with big business (or those who can create the biggest) interests and isn’t to be trusted, so they have opted to keep the councils run in the same fashion as power sharing is done up at Stormont, shared out among competing interests than in the hand of one grouping or person in particular.