2017 West Midlands mayoral election

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2017 West Midlands mayoral election
Flag of the West Midlands County.svg
4 May 2017 2020 →
Turnout26.7%
  Andy Street.jpg Sion Simon.jpg
Candidate Andy Street Siôn Simon
Party Conservative Labour Co-op
1st Round vote 216,280 210,259
Percentage 41.9% 40.8%
2nd Round vote 238,628 234,862
Percentage 50.4% 49.6%

 
Candidate Beverley Nielsen Pete Durnell
Party Liberal Democrat UKIP
1st Round vote 30,378 29,051
Percentage 5.9% 5.6%

West Midlands Mayoral election, 2017 (by Metropolitan Borough).svg

Mayor before election

Position established

Elected Mayor

Andy Street
Conservative

The inaugural West Midlands mayoral election was held on 4 May 2017 to elect the Mayor of the West Midlands, with subsequent elections to be held every four years from May 2020. The election took place alongside five elections for English metro mayors and other local elections, and ahead of the general election on 8 June 2017.

The contest was the first election for a governing body covering the entire West Midlands since the 1981 West Midlands County Council election, the former West Midlands County Council having been dissolved in 1986. Police and crime commissioner elections had taken in 2012, 2014 and 2016 with Labour winning those contests decisively.

The election was won by Conservative Andy Street, beating Labour's Siôn Simon in the final round by 50.4% to 49.6% with a turnout of 26.7%. The result was seen as a shock in what has been considered a Labour heartland.[1]

Results[edit]

West Midlands Mayoral Election 2017
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Conservative Andy Street 216,280 41.9% 22,348 238,628 50.4%
Labour Co-op Siôn Simon 210,259 40.8% 24,603 234,862 49.6%
Liberal Democrat Beverley Nielsen 30,378 5.9%
UKIP Pete Durnell 29,051 5.6%
Green James Burn 24,260 4.7%
Communist Graham Stevenson 5,696 1.1%
Majority 3,776 0.8%
Turnout 523,201 26.7%
Conservative win

Background[edit]

Area covered by the mayor.

In 2012, a referendum on a proposal to have an elected mayor for the city of Birmingham resulted in a 57.8% vote against.[2]

Following a devolution deal between the UK government and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), it was agreed to introduce a directly-elected mayor for the combined authority, with an initial election to be held in May 2017. The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 required a directly-elected metro mayor for combined authorities to receive additional powers from central government.[3]

The mayor would be elected by voters in the metropolitan boroughs of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton, and act as chair of the combined authority as well exercise additional powers and functions devolved from central government relating to transport and housing and planning. The WMCA would also as a result receive further powers over economic growth, adult skills funding, employment, and business support.[4]

Electoral system[edit]

Advertisement for the election at the Birmingham New Street railway station

The supplementary vote system was used for the mayoral election.[5] Voters were able to express a first and second preference on their ballots. If no candidate receives 50% of valid votes cast in the first round, the two candidates with the most votes proceed to the second round while all other candidates are eliminated. Any valid second preferences of eliminated candidates are redistributed to the remaining candidates, and the candidate with the most combined votes in the second round is declared the winner.

Eligible electors are registered to vote by 13 April 2017; British, Commonwealth or European Union citizens; aged 18 or over by 4 May 2017; and resident in the seven boroughs that make up the West Midlands Combined Authority (Birmingham, Coventry Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton).[6]

On 27 April it was confirmed 1,961,153 people were eligible to vote in the mayoral election.[7]

Candidates[edit]

Candidates are required to be aged 18 or over and be a British, Commonwealth or European Union citizen. In addition they should fulfill one of the following: be registered to vote in the WMCA area; own or occupy land in the area for 12 months before their nomination; work in the WMCA for 12 months before their nomination; or have lived in the WMCA during the 12 months before their nomination.[8]

Candidates are also required to present 100 signatures of people on the electoral register, with 10 from each constituent authority, and provide a £5,000 deposit to be returned if the candidate receives more than 5% in the first round.[8]

Six candidates were successfully nominated by the deadline on 4 April 2017.[9] They were James Burn of the Green Party; Pete Durnell of UKIP; Beverley Nielson of the Liberal Democrats; Siôn Simon, who received the nominations of the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party; Graham Stevenson of the Communist Party of Britain; and Andy Street of the Conservative Party.[9]

The first mayoral debate took place at the Black Country Living Museum on 7 March 2017 [10] with five of the candidates represented.[11]

Candidate selections[edit]

Communist Party of Britain[edit]

Graham Stevenson was announced as the Communist Party of Britain's candidate on 8 March 2017. Stevenson is a former official for the T&G trade union (now Unite the Union) and sits on his party's national executive committee.[12]

Conservative Party[edit]

On 7 July 2016 it was confirmed Andy Street, the former managing director of John Lewis and former chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, would seek the Conservative Party's nomination for West Midlands Mayor.[13] After no others came forward and a meeting of local members on 29 September, Street was announced as the party's candidate.[14] Street's endorsements include that of former CBI director Lord Digby Jones.[15]

Street defended spending up to £1 million before the regulated campaign period where spending was restricted to £130,000 in the final five weeks.[16]

Co-operative Party[edit]

The Co-operative Party nominated Siôn Simon, MEP for the West Midlands and former MP for Birmingham Erdington, as its candidate in April 2017.[9] The party has stood joint candidates with Labour since 1927.

Green Party of England and Wales[edit]

On 18 October 2016, James Burn was announced as the Green Party's candidate. Burn is a Green Party councillor for Chelmsley Wood and leader of the opposition on Solihull Council.[17][18]

Labour Party[edit]

In January 2016, Labour's national executive committee agreed to select the party's candidate in July through a one-member-one-vote ballot.[19] It was suggested candidates for the post could include West Midlands MEP Siôn Simon, Hodge Hill MP Liam Byrne, Dudley North MP Ian Austin and Sandwell council leader Darren Cooper.[20] Edgbaston MP Gisela Stuart declined to enter.[20]

Five candidates came forward by the 10 June deadline. They were Steve Bedser, a former cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing on Birmingham City Council; Najma Hafeez, a former Birmingham city councillor and chair of City Hospital; Milkinder Jaspal, a cabinet member on Wolverhampton City Council; Siôn Simon, an MEP for the West Midlands, former MP for Birmingham Erdington and former government minister for creative industries and further education; and Mary Simons-Jones, a freelance bookseller.[21]

Bedser and Simon were shortlisted and went to a ballot among party members in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, and Wolverhampton.[22]

On 9 August 2016 it was announced Simon had won the ballot with 2,718 votes to 1,099 for Bedser.[23]

First round
Candidate Votes Percentage
Siôn Simon 2,718
71.21%
Steve Bedser 1,099
28.79%

Liberal Democrats[edit]

The Liberal Democrats announced Beverley Nielsen, a businesswoman and director of Birmingham City University, as their candidate on 7 September 2016.[24]

UK Independence Party (UKIP)[edit]

On 6 January 2017 UKIP confirmed Pete Durnell as their candidate. Durnell stood for the party in the West Midlands police and crime commissioner election in 2016.[25]

Results by local authority[edit]

Birmingham[edit]

West Midlands Mayoral Election 2017, Birmingham[26]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Co-op Siôn Simon 95,098 46.1% 10,382 105,480 56.5%
Conservative Andy Street 73,578 35.6% 7,690 81,268 43.5%
Liberal Democrat Beverley Nielsen 14,840 7.2%
Green James Burn 9,787 4.7%
UKIP Pete Durnell 7,537 3.7%
Communist Graham Stevenson 2,312 1.1%
Majority 24,212
Turnout 206,456 28.6

Coventry[edit]

West Midlands Mayoral Election 2017, Coventry[26]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Co-op Siôn Simon 24,331 43.7% 3,236 27,567 55.0%
Conservative Andy Street 20,345 36.6% 2,213 22,558 45.0%
Liberal Democrat Beverley Nielsen 3,339 6.0%
Green James Burn 2,984 5.4%
UKIP Pete Durnell 2,928 5.3%
Communist Graham Stevenson 821 1.5%
Majority 5,009
Turnout 55,653 23.9

Dudley[edit]

West Midlands Mayoral Election 2017, Dudley[26]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Conservative Andy Street 31,858 52.2% 3,306 35,164 63.5%
Labour Co-op Siôn Simon 17,731 29.0% 2,446 20,177 36.5%
UKIP Pete Durnell 5,637 9.2%
Liberal Democrat Beverley Nielsen 2,555 4.2%
Green James Burn 2,096 3.4%
Communist Graham Stevenson 623 1.0%
Majority 14,987
Turnout 61,088 25.2

Sandwell[edit]

West Midlands Mayoral Election 2017, Sandwell[26]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Co-op Siôn Simon 29,085 54.2% 2,476 31,561 65.5%
Conservative Andy Street 14,361 26.8% 2,260 16,621 34.5%
UKIP Pete Durnell 4,704 8.8%
Green James Burn 2,032 3.8%
Liberal Democrat Beverley Nielsen 2,029 3.8%
Communist Graham Stevenson 672 1.3%
Majority 14,940
Turnout 53,657 23.3

Solihull[edit]

West Midlands Mayoral Election 2017, Solihull[26]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Conservative Andy Street 35,903 67.9% 2,981 38,884 81.3%
Labour Co-op Siôn Simon 6,695 12.7% 2,256 8,951 18.7%
Green James Burn 4,102 7.8%
Liberal Democrat Beverley Nielsen 3,578 6.8%
UKIP Pete Durnell 1,833 3.5%
Communist Graham Stevenson 256 0.5%
Majority 29,933
Turnout 52,871 33.7

Walsall[edit]

West Midlands Mayoral Election 2017, Walsall[26]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Conservative Andy Street 23,694 48.9% 2,186 25,880 58.3%
Labour Co-op Siôn Simon 16,725 34.5% 1,811 18,536 41.7%
UKIP Pete Durnell 3,501 7.2%
Liberal Democrat Beverley Nielsen 2,047 4.2%
Green James Burn 1,465 3.0%
Communist Graham Stevenson 442 0.9%
Majority 7,344
Turnout 48,468 24.6

Wolverhampton[edit]

West Midlands Mayoral Election 2017, Wolverhampton[26]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Co-op Siôn Simon 20,594 45.8% 1,996 22,590 55.3%
Conservative Andy Street 16,514 36.7% 1,712 18,226 44.7%
UKIP Pete Durnell 2,911 6.5%
Liberal Democrat Beverley Nielsen 1,990 4.4%
Green James Burn 1,794 4.0%
Communist Graham Stevenson 570 1.3%
Majority 4,364
Turnout 45,008 25.2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parveen, Nazia (5 May 2017). "Andy Street elected West Midlands mayor". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Birmingham rejects elected mayor". BBC News. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Everything you need to know about metro mayors: an FAQ".
  4. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/477421/West_Midlands_devolution_deal_unsigned_final_web.pdf
  5. ^ "Everything you need to know about metro mayors: an FAQ". Centre for Cities. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Election 2017 – Information for Voters".
  7. ^ "BBC Local Live: Birmingham and the Black Country". BBC News. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b "Candidates | West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor". www.wmcaelects.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Candidates announced for West Midlands Combined Authority mayoral election | Birmingham News Room". birminghamnewsroom.com. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  10. ^ "First West Midlands Mayor Debate at the Black Country Living Museum". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Audience Divided after West Midlands Mayor Debate". Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  12. ^ Elkes, Neil (8 March 2017). "Communists join the West Midlands Mayor race". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  13. ^ Dale, Paul (7 July 2016). "Game on! Andy Street 'to seek Tory nomination' for West Midlands metro mayor". The Chamberlain Files. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  14. ^ Silvera, Ian (29 September 2016). "John Lewis boss Andy Street 'very positive' as Tories select West Midlands mayor candidate". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Andy Street Endorsements". Conservative Party UK. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  16. ^ Syal, Rajeev (1 May 2017). "Tory candidate defends spending up to £1m on West Midlands mayor campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Solihull Councillor has put himself forward to become mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)". The Solihull Observer. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Green Party launch campaign for West Mids Mayor". westmidlands.greenparty.org.uk. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  19. ^ "West Midlands mayoral election: Labour plots selection strategy". Express & Star. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Battle to be Greater Birmingham Mayor is already becoming brutal". Birmingham Mail. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  21. ^ Neil Elkes (29 June 2016). "Euro-MP and ex-council social services chief to battle it out to be Labour mayor candidate". The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  22. ^ Elkes, Neil (29 June 2016). "Euro-MP and ex-council social services chief to battle it out to be Labour mayor candidate". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  23. ^ Dale, Paul (9 August 2016). "Sion Simon wins Labour mayor selection with 'growth, prosperity and social justice' pledge". The Chamberlain Files. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  24. ^ "Top businesswoman Beverley Nielsen chosen as Liberal Democrat candidate for West Midlands mayor". Birmingham Mail. 7 September 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  25. ^ "UKIP West Midlands Mayor candidate Pete Durnell: All you need to know about the nominee". Birmingham Mail. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor Results". West Midlands Combined Authority. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.