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LIVE: West Midlands Mayor – the result

LIVE: West Midlands Mayor – the result

🕔05.May 2017

Welcome to our rolling live blog from the election count for the first West Midlands Mayor. Kevin Johnson and Hannah Green reporting. 

Please keep refreshing for updates and also follow @ChamberlainFile on Twitter. 

Scroll down for the latest updates.

Intro

Voting in the historic election to choose the first West Midlands Mayor took place yesterday, with polls closing at 10.00pm last night.

The count takes place today, starting at around 9.00am. Separate counts will happen in each of the seven districts that make up the ‘constituent’ areas of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The total votes will then be declared at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, where the city’s own count will also happen.

The election took place using the Supplementary Vote, with voters choosing their first and second preference mayoral candidates.

It is expected that counting of first preference votes across the region will conclude by 1.00pm.

If no candidate secures more than 50% of the total votes, then all but the top two candidates will be eliminated and the second preference votes of those leaving the contest will be re-allocated to the remaining two mayoral hopefuls.

Round Two of voting will commerce at 2pm with the final result expected to be declared by 6.00pm.

Just under two million people in the region were eligible to vote, with nearly 3/4m voters in Birmingham alone.

It had not been anticipated that turnout would exceed 20%, although Tory hopeful Andy Street has long been predicting 30%.

READ: New WMCA chair to take the helm, but what’s it been up to?

___

17.47

There are stories within stories in this election.

What were the key factors for Andy Street’s win:

A highly energetic, massively visible campaign from Street – and a low key, core votes campaign from his principal opponent?

An increasingly dominant Conservative party, emboldened by Theresa’s May rising popularity and her approach to Brexit?

Mr Street’s brand of Conservatism, accessible to many people who would not usually vote Tory?

The continuing troubles of a Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership?

The demise of UKIP, a vote level that disappointed the Lib Dem camp and the entry of the Communists?

The SV system and the lack of coherent strategy to maximise it by the Labour campaign?

A big pre-official campaign period spend by Andy Street, much of which did not place the Conservative brand particularly prominently?

A win for the business leader (of cuddly John Lewis to boot) over the “career politician?”

A turnout that exceeded expectations, but didn’t quite reach Mr Street’s prediction of 30%?

We will muse and discuss on these pages over the coming hours, days and weeks.

But, for now, well done Andy Street and his team. Commiserations to all the other candidates – it has been gruelling for all concerned.

___

17.41

We’re hanging on in there as the chairs are stacked around us.

Simon and Street in series of media interviews.

For different reasons, both looking shell shocked.

___

17.38

Birmingham and the West Midlands may be the centre of the political world, but we’re being kicked out of the election centre. Media colleagues being chucked out as they prepare to go live to TV and radio networks.

Doesn’t seem very smart PR.

___

17.32

In an election where 523,201 people voted, to win by a margin of just 3,766 (albeit on the SV system) is remarkable.

___

17.26

Phew. Andy Street – West Midlands Mayor elect – has moved away from our desk so we can get back to the blog.

If you haven’t already picked up from our Twitter feed or elsewhere, Andy Street has sensationally beaten Labour’s Sion Simon to win the West Midlands Mayoralty.

The winning margin was just 3,766 votes.

___

16.20

There are a possible 34,476 votes to re-distribute in Birmingham. How many will have exercised that right, and where will they have gone? Simon needs to acquire a little more than 6,000 of them compared to Street.

Either result possible at this point.

___

16.14

The back of our ‘fag packet’ has Street ahead by 6431 votes.

That’s quite a lead for Simon to overhaul in Birmingham.

___

16.08

Based on the results so far (not all verified), we have:

Street 229,099

Simon 222,485

6615 lead for Street.

Now Wolverhampton:

Simon 1996

Street 1712

___

16.06

Dudley 2nd votes in full

Street 3306 (corrected)

Simon 2446

___

16.01

Coventry

Simon: 3236

Street 2213

___

15.58

3 down, 4 to go. Street’s ahead. Two more coming….

Solihull 2nd result

Simon 2256

Street 2981

Coventry result coming shortly.

___

15.55

Walsall 2nd preference result:

Street 2186

Simon 1811

___

15.49

Street now 6895 ahead after Dudley 2nd preference votes. He picked up 860 more secondary votes than Simon.

___

15.41

On a quick calculation, something like half of those who could have used their supplementary vote in Sandwell elected not to use it.

As well as a better turnout than anticipated, one of the other stories of this campaign is the use (or otherwise) of Supplementary Vote system. We feel another Chris Game blog coming on.

___

15.36

The four candidates who have fallen out of the contest have left the building. Only Messrs Simon and Street will be around to take to the stage when the final result is declared.

So far, the two leading candidates have not been seen in the media area.

15.33

So, Simon closes the gap by just 216 votes. 6 more districts to go.

___

15.31

Sandwell second preference votes are in:

Simon 2476

Street 2260

Not counted/rejected 4701

___

14.42

Labour sources tell us it’s in the lap of the gods.

Whilst Street is head, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen with supplementary votes.

Sources tell Chamberlain Files that Lib Dem and UKIP 1st preference voters split 50/50 on who they gave their 2nd vote to.

Green 1st preference voters – as well as those supporting the Communists – are more likely to vote for Labour as their second vote.

But, how many voters will have used their second votes at all – and, of those, who used them smartly?

Answers on a postcard to the Barclaycard Arena.

___

14.39

James Burn lost the Green’s deposit, which seems unfair for a candidate who has impressed many.

He tells Chamberlain Files, though, that outcome is ahead of their objectives when they started. He has successfully raised issues and represented his party well.

He’s going for a long lie down and will not be taking an active part in the General Election campaign.

___

14.38

So, it’s Street v Simon in round two with Street around 6,000 votes in the lead.

___

14.32

So, those results in full now they have been officially published.

Burn 24260

Nielsen 29051

Simon 210259

Stevenson 5696

Street 216280

Rejected 7268

___

14.12

Dudley result – Street ahead of Simon by around 14,000.

___

14.10

Sandwell result – Simon ahead (of Street) by just under 15,000.

___

14.09

Solihull result – Street ahead by just under 30,000.

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14.04

Solihull is likely to cancel out Labour’s lead, more or less.

Dudley and Sandwell will hold the balance on first Round. Where the UKIP votes go will be key.

___

14.00

Simon currently on 156,748; Street on 134,131.

Sandwell, Solihull and Dudley still to declare.

___

13.47

Steve Rotherham wins Liverpool city region election for Labour, as expected.

___

13.43

Official Birmingham Round One result

Burn 9787

Durnell 7537

Nielsen 14840

Simon 95098

Stevenson 2312

Street 73578

Rejected 3299

___

13.17

Panic over. The Birmingham verified vote figure has now been moved to the Coventry row.

___

13.12

Still too close, but the Street camp must be feeling increasingly  confident.

Theresa May’s team will be planning for a visit to the West Midands very soon.

___

13.09

Street is behind Simon by just around 1,000 votes after 3 districts in Round One.

___

13.05

Street ahead of Simon by just under 7,000 votes in Walsall (corrected). 

___

13.02

Full HALL GREEN result in city council by election:

Alan Blumenthal – UK Independence Party (UKIP) – 462

Tanveer Choudhry – Liberal Democrats – 1889

Liz Clements – Labour Party – 3138

Gareth Courage – Green Party – 307

Obaid Khan – Conservative Party – 1683

Turnout – 39%

12.58

So far, we calculate Mr Simon is 8,066 votes ahead of Mr Street with 2 of 7 districts counted in Round One.

Official results page says there are 55653 verified votes in Birmingham. That would be just over 7% turnout, which seems extraordinary.

___

12.52

Sion Simon wins in Wolverhampton, but again only abut 4000 votes ahead of Andy Street.

___

12.47

Coventry Round One result

Burn 2984

Durnell 2928

Nielsen 3339

Simon 24331

Stevenson 821

Street 20345

Spolit 903

___

12.37

Turnout of 26.68% across the region, with a massive 34% in Solihull. Can only be good news for Andy Street there.

___

12.11

Turnouts 25.21%, 23.2% and 24% in Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Coventry respectively.

___

12.03

The full result for PERRY BARR is:

Matthew Ford – Green Party – 314

Mohammed Hanif – Labour Party – 2156

Morriam Jan  – Liberal Democrat Focus Team – 2387

Minu Sungu – Conservative Party – 558

Turnout – 33.66%

11.40

Also taking place at the Barclaycard Arena is the count for two by-elections for Birmingham city council seats.

Perry Barr has just been declared as a Lib Dem hold.

11.35

The media desks at the Barclaycard Arena are full of journalists and assorted hangers on (us) engaging in conversations about who has heard what.

The truth is nobody knows, which makes the West Midlands Mayor election all the more exciting.

But the momentum appears to be with Andy Street.

___

11.30

One of the stories of this election could be turnout. It looks likely that it will reach mid 20 percentage points, if not higher in some areas.

If so, Andy Street’s optimism about a 30% turnout will have been founded.

It is possible that the call for the General Election and the Theresa May juggernaut (and Labour’s continuing demise) could have nudged Andy Street over the line.

___

9.29

In simple terms, so far it appears there is a swing of 7% from Labour to the Conservatives across the country. If repeated in the West Midlands, it would be enough to elect Mayor Andy Street.

___

9.23

Chamberlain Files sources indicate the Labour vote has been holding up in core city centre areas, with turnout not reaching 30%

However, there are reports of higher than anticipated turnout in strongly Conservative areas.

___

9.17

The first Metro Mayor result is in – from the West of England. Conservative Tim Bowles beat Labour’s Lesley Mansell by just a few thousand votes.

The Conservatives have gained full control of Warwickshire County Council.

Labour’s Ros Jones has been re-elected Mayor of Doncaster.

Overall, it looks to have been a good day for the Conservative and, frankly, absolutely awful for both Labour and UKIP. There is no significant evidence to support the idea of a Lib Dem fightback.

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