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


  • Comment
The government is justifying its push for elected mayors with the results of a DTLR opinion poll on the issue. ...
The government is justifying its push for elected mayors with the results of a DTLR opinion poll on the issue.

The survey of 11,000 people in 10 metropolitan areas found 30% of respondents would be more likely to vote in an election for mayor than for individual councillors. But more than half said it would make no difference to the likelihood of them voting.

Two thirds of respondents agreed an elected mayor would make it easier to get things done and make it clear who was responsible when things went wrong.

The greatest concern about directly elected mayors, agreed by 45.5% of respondents, was that the position might give too much power to one person.

The findings showed people were less than honest about previous participation in local elections - with 60% claiming to have voted in 2000 compared to an actual turnout of half that.

People in Middlesbrough - where there has been a high-profile campaign for the post of mayor by suspended police superintendent Ray Mallon - showed the most enthusiasm for directly elected mayors, and Liverpudlians the least.

Only one in four respondents knew about the changes to local government constitutions introduced by Labour, with half claiming they had not had an opportunity to express their views on the reforms.

Critics warn the survey makes too much of the support. Local Government Association Liberal Democrat group leader Chris Clarke said the survey appeared to produce different results to those of the mayoral referendums where the majority had not supported mayors.

He said: 'The government is trying to breathe life into an idea that has essentially fallen on deaf ears.'

A spokesman for the Labour Campaign for Open Local Government said the survey was misleading and cynical: 'The questions are written in such a way as to suggest mayors are all-conquering street wardens and the results reflect that.'

The areas surveyed were Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Harrow, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston and Westminster.

Local government minister Nick Raynsford has told Birmingham City Council he intends to force it to hold a mayoral referendum. The decision was based on the result of a consultation with local people on whether they wanted a mayor or leader and cabinet model.

'We think the council was wrong to maintain the electors of Birmingham had expressed a preference for the leader and cabinet option. A majority expressed support for the two options involving a mayor,' Mr Raynsford said.

  • 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.