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Independent wins Bristol mayoral election

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An independent candidate has won the vote for Bristol City Council’s first elected mayor with Labour coming second.

George Ferguson, a former Liberal Democrat councillor in the city who resigned his party membership shortly before announcing his intention to stand as an independent, has been elected mayor after beating Labour candidate Marvin Rees.

Mr Ferguson won the most first preference votes but failed to get more than 50% of votes cast and went head to head with Mr Rees in the second round.

In his acceptance speech, Mr Ferguson said he would “go and ask the prime minister and the government in general for more powers for Bristol, for more resource. I think we deserve it”.

Referring to the first wave of city deals, which were linked by ministers to the mayoral referendums in the 12 core cities, he said: “We have delivered what they wanted, now they have got to deliver what we want.”

Echoing the government’s argument that elected mayors in the core cities would allow them to compete on an international stage, Mr Ferguson said he wanted Bristol to gain a reputation around the world. “I want everyone everyone to know where Bristol is for all the right reaons,” he said.

Thanking his team, the former Lib Dem councillor said “they have come from all parties, from left to right and from no politics at all. It has been enlightening to me how many people in Bristol feel so strongly about the future of this city. It gives us real hope for the future of Bristol.”

Turnout for the mayoral election was 27.92%.

First preference votes

  • George Ferguson - Bristol 1st - 31,321
  • Marvin Rees - Labour - 25,896
  • Geoff Gollop - Conservative - 8136
  • Jon Rogers - Liberal Democrat - 6202
  • Daniella Radice - Green - 5248
  • Owain George - Independent - 2404
  • Spud Murphy - Independent - 1855
  • Neil Maggs - Respect - 1568
  • Stoney Garnett - Independent - 1413
  • Tom Baldwin - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition - 1412
  • Tim Collins - Independent - 1037
  • Philip Pover - Independent - 994
  • Tony Britt - Independent - 761
  • Rich Fisher - Independent - 494
  • Dave Dobbs - The Birthday Party - 411

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Mr Ferguson's decision to forsake the increasingly unpopular Lib Dems was wise. He will nevertheless be able to draw on the experience of his old Parliamentary colleagues in wielding the inevitable axe.

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