Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Executive mayors: a fair bet?

  • Comment

Following Caroline Spelman’s announcement that an incoming Tory government would extend the number of directly elected mayors and boost their powers, there is an intriguing prospect that some council chief executives could find themselves out of a job in the not-too-distant future.

Mike Smithson

So how serious a threat is all of this?

What are the chances of it taking place, say, in the next three years? Well, first the Conservatives have to win the election with a big enough majority to govern. I’d rate that at about a 75% chance.

Then we have to assess the priority they would give the plan. My guess is the chances of this going through for implementation by, say, May 2011 must be about 40%.

Then the referendums will have to take place.

Since elected mayors were introduced, proponents of the idea have had difficulties getting the voters to back them. There’s been a success rate of just one in three. So a 35% probability of an individual referendum supporting the idea seems about right.

Then elections would take place and only after the successful candidate is in place would the question of taking over the powers of the chief executive come up. Let us say 50% go down this route.

So, my calculator tells me, for each of the CEOs there’s a 5.25% chance of losing their jobs. As a gambler I would be looking for odds of more than 20/1 that an individual would go.

Mike Smithson is former BBC journalist and Lib Dem councillor and founder of Politicalbetting.com

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.