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Following the election of seven directly elected mayors and Yes votes in a further three mayoral referenda, John Wi...
Following the election of seven directly elected mayors and Yes votes in a further three mayoral referenda, John Williams, executive director of independent think-tank New Local Government Network said:

'The complex voting patterns that we have seen in these elections reflect an emerging trend for more localised campaigns, while the preferences made reveal an increased consumerism among the electorate. With many people willing to change brands to suit their local circumstances, the mainstream parties must face up to the fact that we're living in an age of supermarket politics.

'While there is room for more choice at the local level, the mayoral option - involving individuals who the electorate can or wish to clearly identify with - accentuates such consumerism'.

Reflecting on the apparent response from political figures at national level, the NLGN executive director commented:

'There's an arrogance among national politicians when they choose to criticise the mayoral idea, particularly in the belief that if the votes don't go their way they can manipulate the system to deliver on their behalf.

'Today, the landscape of UK politics includes a new, non-tribal form of local politics. Instead of criticising elected mayors, national politicians should be thinking about the role they can play in delivering such a system across the UK'.

Commenting on the surprise result in Hartlepool, Mr Williams added:

'Many people across Britain would claim that they have been voting for monkeys for years. At least we now have one willing to act in a transparent way.

'Stuart Drummond appears to have some sensible ideas for regenerating Hartlepool and improving the lives of young people in the area. His success however will depend on his ability to deliver on such promises. Otherwise, and given the town's well-known folklore, he might find local people choosing to hang another monkey out to dry'.

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