I wrote last week that Labour supporters in Birmingham should reject the siren calls of those urging a ‘Yes’ vote in the forthcoming referendum for a City Mayor. My principal reason is that I believe City Mayors, although tied up with ribbons to make them appear more democratic, are actually a move towards centralism and are anti-democratic. I also warned that there was a possibility that Birmingham voters in May could return a resounding Labour victory in the Council elections, only to have their victory overturned in November when the majority of Executive powers pass to a Tory City Mayor. Very bloody democratic!
Most people I spoke to about this said it was nonsense. Labour would win in May and confirm that result by delivering a Labour Mayor in November. Well… don’t count your chickens, this guy knows his stuff… Be careful with local voters – they can be tricky devils. Chris Game has spent decades analysing voting figures, and he gently chides blog editor Paul Dale for this comment…
“Most of Birmingham’s 720,000 electors usually vote Labour, and certainly did so at the 2010 local and General Election. He might have a slim chance of sneaking through on second preference votes, but national backing for the Conservative cause would have to increase substantially”
As Game says, and provides the evidence to back it up, that just isn’t true. He points out that…
…most of Birmingham’s electors do not usually vote Labour, at General, local or any other elections.
So, for all those Labour supporters beavering away in the Yes 2 Brum Mayor campaign – some of whom are just plain daft and support the notion of a Mayor “because it will be a change” – you may end up with egg on your face in November should the electorate vote for the incompetent Mike Whitby to preside over a majority Labour council for five years. Some ‘change’ that will be.
If Labour voters in Birmingham wish to avoid this happening, they should register a ‘No’ vote on May 3 and put a halt to this whole City Mayor fiasco.