As expected, but not hoped for by me, Nottingham voters yesterday rejected a directly elected mayor. Almost 24% turnout. 49,439 votes were cast, Maybe 23,000 of them by post.
In the end a 57% – 42% split is closer than many predicted at the outset and I think over twenty thousand people heading out to vote for change – particularly in the face of a destructively unwholesome Labour Party No campaign – is an achievement in itself.
Voters in Manchester and Coventry also said No yesterday in line with their local Labour Party positions.
I think that if the Labour Party here had supported change, as in Birmingham and Liverpool, then we would be looking at a resounding Yes result this morning. We’re not because the Labour Party in Nottingham put its own interests (and self-preservation) ahead of the city’s.
I’m sure we will come back to this question in the future. Maybe some long time in the future, but I still think Nottingham will one day have a directly elected mayor.
A vote across the whole conurbation might have produced a different result now. Certainly the City’s boundary is on the agenda at last and that is a positive outcome from this debate.
Some might think it’s ‘business as usual’ this morning but I think this referendum and the way it has been campaigned has shifted the ground beneath the feet of local politicians and their parties.
The quality and impact of city governance and the manner in which the Labour Party is led and seeks to lead have been put under the spotlight.
The bar has been raised. The game must be raised. Business as usual will not do.
Well done most of all to the 24% who voted and also to anyone else who has been involved in any way (except with that leaflet). It’s been fun.
Thanks for reading.
I’m off boating. Stay in touch.