The Lewisham Mayoral Race

While the General Election date was only confirmed this week, the Mayoral election date has been known for a while, so it's worth reflecting on the results last time around, in 2006.

Mayor Bullock was elected with a comfortable majority, collecting 25,129 votes (after second preferences were counted) while his nearest rival was Christopher Maines for the LibDems, with 18,889 votes. These two were followed by the Conservatives, the Greens, John Hamilton as an independent and the Lewisham People's Alliance.

Those totals suggest the race will be a lot closer than in Lewisham Deptford.

Thanks to Rob for the link.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I predict it will be Bullock again, probably by a smaller margin.

The interesting thing is how he and the council will function if the council chamber is more profoundly 'hung' (well hung?) than the current razorblade balance in numbers.

It would be interesting to hear the candidates explain how they would respond to that situation in order to keep the business of council ticking over professionally without descending into a bickering stalemate.

Anonymous said...

I hope it's Bullock again, highly unlikely to be this absolute numpty anyway (fingers crossed - i have faith that voters in lewisham aren't stupid) nundy4mayor.com
When you read his ridiculous proposals you realise that the tories know they haven't got a shot at Lewisham which is why he's got here and not a tory stronghold!

Anonymous said...

It's not the Tories that have the best or even second best chances to win in Lewisham. Someone would like to have people thinking this though.

Anyway, on the point raised by the first anonymous (or is it the same for both comments?).

Since we have an Executive Mayor system the composition of the Council doesn't have any way to impede the work of the officers or force a change or delay to Mayor's decisions.

The Mayor alone approves the officers' work, the Cabinet (chosen by the Mayor) approves the contracts, the Council only approves the budget once a year, and mind you, once approved the budget can be completely undone by officers from day two.

The Overview and Scrutiny committees have the power to "call in" a Mayor's decision that only means that he's asked to think about something twice, but he can still go ahead regardless.

A split Council only brings more people willing to look into what the Mayor does, unearth and highlight malpractice and bring competitiveness between parties.

Brockley Nick said...

@Anon - the Nundy website has a rather misleading graphic on it, showing the share of votes for the "2008 Lewisham Mayoral Election Results", with the Tories in second place.

A casual reader might mistake that for the votes for Lewisham Mayor - whereas in fact, this was Lewisham vote for the Boris v Ken election for Mayor of London. http://ow.ly/1w0gY

Not that the Tories are the only ones who put out confusing graphics...

Anon1 said...

@maxink:

"Anyway, on the point raised by the first anonymous (or is it the same for both comments?)."

Max, having joined the Lib Dems you're becoming as paranoid as the rest of them. I am anon1 but did not write anon2.

"Since we have an Executive Mayor system the composition of the Council doesn't have any way to impede the work of the officers or force a change or delay to Mayor's decisions. ..."

You're largely right, and it's a strong argument against the mayoral system. I partially disagree on the budget - if he can't get it through that's a very big deal. I think there are limits to how much officers can later 'dismantle' the budget in-year, but you're right that they can play with it to suit their or the mayor's agenda. However, this will cause almighty political stinks, I predict.

There's also a political implication if the chamber votes for a motion calling for something in particular and the mayor refuses to abide by it. That sets up a potentially nasty confrontation with each side arguing about whose democratic mandate trumps whose.

Having said all this, I agree with you in hoping for a 'split' council. I just hope all sides can find it in them to behave like grown-ups to make this unusual situation work for Lewisham. A forlorn hope, perhaps, particularly if you and others (if elected) continue to display such twitchy paranoia. Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon(1), you're right about my paranoia, point taken. But hey, we're in election time.

You're also right about the possible use of motions, but that's what the Council should be for, to debate which way policies should go, and if the Mayor doesn't want to abide by what's decided there then he'd be in breach of the Constitution.

I don't fear motions at all, it's unlikely that a majority of Councillors coming from different parties and debating openly would find agreement on policies that are worse than what comes out of the Mayor's office debated behind closed doors.

On the budget, I think that if a majority is not found a third of the Council is sufficient to approve it actually, failing that then I don't know right, there must be some mechanism in the constitution to just move on regardless.

On what the officers can juggle with the budget, I don't know of any limit, I only know that under delegated powers they can move up to 500k at a time, and that sounds like a lot to me.

Tamsin said...

The detailed nominations are now up on the Council website.

Good news, that there is another right wing pro-patriotic candidate who will hopefully take votes from the BNP "fascist granny".

Also an a-political candidate in each of the wards - who will hopefully take votes from all the parties. Nice if we could have a council with a bunch of residents elected with no party line to toe and no Westminster ambitions.

Anonymous said...

We should remember that was 4 years ago when the Greens surprised us all by gaining 6 councillors. People have seen the Greens do a good job on the council in the last 4 years. This hopefully will at least double their vote.

TJ said...

Tamsin - I agree - it would be excellent if the councillors were residents with no political line - hmm wonder if they could get enough votes though..

I did hear the tory candidate out on Saturday in the conservation area with a loudspeaker. On such a nice day, he should really have being doing other things. It's not like he has a chance or anything...

Tamsin said...

Where they are not standing against each other they might. With three options to vote for what I would do if I knew no one and personalities did not come into it at all is to vote for two of my party of choice and the third one for the independent.

Maybe others will do something similar. It will be very, very interesting.

TJ said...

Will they be clearly labelled as INdependent. Sometimes the names they go under can be off putting.

For Brockley I think Patrick McGinley is standing under People befroe Profit. Patrick has been working tirelessly to support the PFI leaseholders. It's nice to see someone who has been working like this wanting to be councillor and fight for local residents full time.

love detective said...

"Good news, that there is another right wing pro-patriotic candidate who will hopefully take votes from the BNP "fascist granny""

I wouldn't count on it, the EDP guy is a fruitloop who has been a member of about every party going - was a tory councilor in croydon and then defected to the libdems and then onto veritas, and now the english democrat, all that in 9 years as well - his 'day job' is a 'spiritualist and healer' - not exactly the type that tess's base in the south of the borough are likely to be endeared to

he's more likely to take a splattering of votes from right wing greens and liberal democrats

Anonymous said...

"Right wing greens"

Hmm... mung beans for everyone... except the gays...

Tamsin said...

Hmm, LD, let's hope most of the extreme right are less clued up than you are. On the bare description, which is all you get on the ballot paper, he might still appeal to those who match the ideas of the BNP but can't quite take the stigma.

love detective said...

" he might still appeal to those who match the ideas of the BNP but can't quite take the stigma"

yep, right wing greens and liberal democrats!

Monkeyboy said...

Are right wing greens that big a demographic?

love detective said...

hard to tell i suppose, a fair load of them support the kind of thing that the optimum population trust come out with, basically a polite way of backing mass euthanasia

there's the goldsmith's and their right wing friends involvement with green politics

there's people like tony gosling ex-green party member who is a complete consipracy theory loon and 9/11 truth cult type with all the related anti-semitic trappings that brings (verging on holocaust denial), he was expelled from the green's for homophobia i think - while still in the green's he was behind a whole string of local green party candidates who were equally fruitloop conspiracy theorist types - he since went on to setup a 9/11 'truth' forum which is a magnet for anti-semitic conspiracy nonsense

further afield the german green party was more than happy to dump their pacifism to get a seat at the govt table and then went on to back the NATO bombing of serbia and sending the luftwaffe into afghanistan

obviously these things are not representative of the green party as a whole and every party has their dodgy types - weird thing is these days there seems to be more difference between different wings within parties than there is between the parties themselves - i suppose the former is a product of the later

love detective said...

weird, about 10 posts over the last few days just disappeared from this thread - making my post look pretty random

love detective said...

and now their back making that post look pretty random

love detective said...

i forgot to mention that before all round cuddly type radovan karadzic took up ethnic cleansing he was a member of the green party in bosnia

once he'd done as much ethnic cleansing as he could to pass the time whilst on the run he returned to being an expert on alternative medicine

and eerily similar to our mayoral candidate from the english democrats claimed to heal people by human quantum energy

Nick Ingham said...

To answer TJ's question namely "Will they be clearly labelled as INdependent. Sometimes the names they go under can be off putting."

The problem with standing as an independent is that under electoral law you can ONLY use the description "Independent" on the ballot paper and you are not permitted any emblem - this tells voters very little about the person or their policies.

In my view, this law is a major limiting factor in the success of independent candidates.

To give a relevant example from the last local elections, you cannot stand as an Independent and use the words "Save Ladywell Pool" on the ballot paper which is what a number of us wanted to do.

The only way to do this would have been to form a national political party called something like "Save Our Swimming Pools".

Then you would register up to 12 descriptions such as "Save Ladywell Pool", "Save Forest Hill Pools" etc. with the Electoral Commission.

The SOSP nominating officer would then then have permitted candidates to use one of those descriptions on the ballot paper.

This how the main parties can use descriptions like "David Cameron's Conservatives" or "Vote Blue Go Green" as their descriptions on their ballot papers if they wish.

To confirm what you said Patrick McGinley is indeed standing in Brockley and has been permitted by the nominating officer of the recently formed political party commonly known as "Lewisham People Before Profit" to use the description "Bring Back Democracy - Hamilton For Mayor" and the LPBP emblem on the ballot paper.

Hope this explains it.

love detective said...

I think it was a big mistake of the LPBP to field candidates in every ward - they would have been far better putting all their resources into a couple of target wards and actually doing some sustained work within those communities, to work with and engage local people on local issues - instead we get this blanket covering of the borough but with next to no actual work being done on the ground - the whole thing looks like a publicity stunt for the benefit of hamilton rather than anything else

Tamsin said...

I don't think so - it means that in every ward there is an option other than the main parties (which now seems to include Green).

love detective said...

not a viable realistic option though, just fleeting astro turf stuff

it's blow in protest politics for a month every 4-5 years then nothing (not that that is any different from congealed mainstream politics, but i thought that was the point of an alternative)

electoral success should be the by product of long term unglamerous work in local communities, not a promise of hard work if electorally successful

Tamsin said...

I don't think so - we've got a wodge of green councillors in the Chamber now. Say an independent got in in a third of the Wards, that's another nice little block of people with allegedly their constituents' concerns at the top of their agendas. And it's possible - two votes for the first two names on the ticket of your party of chose, and the third for the independent.


And where, unlike the Greens, LPBP seem to be sensible in fielding, for the most part, only one person per ward.

Tamsin said...

I don't think so - we've got a wodge of green councillors in the Chamber now. Say an independent got in in a third of the Wards, that's another nice little block of people with allegedly their constituents' concerns at the top of their agendas. And it's possible - two votes for the first two names on the ticket of your party of chose, and the third for the independent.


And where, unlike the Greens, LPBP seem to be sensible in fielding, for the most part, only one person per ward.

love detective said...

i'd say there's more chance of the LPBP getting a councilor in a third of the wards if they contested only a third of the wards they have done and put in three times as much work in those specific wards - preferably starting way before there was even a sniff of an election so people didn't just see them as election time blow in's

most (but not all) of the candidates don't have any local profile and some of the stories i've heard about how people have been selected don't fill me with confidence

fancy a flutter on how many of them or other independents actually get elected? I'll say zero and you can have anything above that? prize is a a day out in catford where you are only half as much likely to get stabbed than in brockley (less likely to get shot as well by the looks of things)

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