Despite a flurry of door-knocking, leafleting and tweeting by campaigners, reports through polling day pointed strongly to Birmingham voters rejecting the chance for the city to be led by a directly elected mayor.
National media focusing on the city as an expected vanguard of the coalition’s flagship policy for local government started to hint early in the afternoon that it looked likely that the city would continue with the current system. The BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson was joined by Tory blog Conservative Home in predicting defeat for reformers.
Hopes rallied briefly after midnight when BBC WM reported that voters in Edgbaston were believed to have voted overwhelmingly in favour of an elected mayor, and then that chief executive Stephen Hughes had said votes in Ladywood seemed to be at least evenly split. But the decision by voters in Nottingham and then Manchester to say ‘no’ in their referenda seemed to dash any renewed optimism.
Bristol was expected to be the next city to announce its verdict, but Birmingham’s won’t be known until late afternoon on Friday.
3.40am updsate: Coventry has voted not to have an elected mayor
- Opinion poll points to No vote in Birmingham mayor referendum (birminghampost.net)