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LATEST MAYORAL REFERENDUM RESULTS: THREE OUT OF FOUR SAY 'NO'

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Maintaining the status quo was the consensus from yesterday's referendums on directly-elected mayors. Expanding opp...
Maintaining the status quo was the consensus from yesterday's referendums on directly-elected mayors. Expanding opportunities for alternative voting methods was the lesson to be learned, judging from the high turnouts for postal referendums in West Devon and Shepway.

The Tories said the latest results showed that the 'electorate had rejected powerless mayors'.

WEST DEVON BC: NO

Boasting the highest turnout of any postal referendum held on this issue so far,

22% voted yes

76% voted no

Turnout was 41.8%

Read more on the West Devon result here.

SHEPWAY DC: NO

With an above average 'turnout' for an all-postal referendum of this type,

44% voted yes

56% voted no

Turnout was 36.3%

Read more on the Shepway result here.

NEWHAM LBC: YES

Newham's new system, with electors voting for who they want to be mayor, will kick in on 2 May 2002.

68.2% voted Yes

31.8% voted No

Turnout: 25.9%

Read more on the Newham result here.

SOUTHWARK LBC: NO

'Which Way For Southwark?' the borough's electors were asked. 'Don't change direction!' came the reply.

31.4% voted yes

68.6% voted no

Turnout: 11.2%

Read more on the Southwark result here.

* The next mayoral referendum takes place in Bedford on February 21 followed by Hackney, Mansfield and Newcastle-under-Lyme (all May 2).

* An Electoral Commission reporttoday called for changes to improve local referendums.

* Conservat ive local government spokesman Malcolm Moss said today:

'There will be little enthusiasm for mayors unless councils are subject to

less interference from regional and central government. Mayors like Rudolph

Giuliani in New York have only been popular because they have the power to

make a difference. If local councils or mayors are powerless, they will only

inspire antipathy amongst the electorate.'

by assistant editor Neil Watson

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