Professor at DMU shares his views about city’s mayoral election

By Nisa Dari

Politics professor, Alistair Jones in his office.

A politics expert at De Montfort University has spoken about this month’s mayoral election and Sir Peter Soulsby remaining in place for the next four years.

Elections took place on May 4 and Leicester decided who will be their new mayor and city councillors. 

Sir Peter, who is a Labour party member, remains the mayor for Leicester, even though he only won by 39 per cent of the votes. 

Professor Alistair Jones said: “He has been successful in getting reselected but maybe he should’ve stepped down to allow somebody new to come through.

“He has been a good mayor but possibly the sell by date has passed by.”

The voting system for the mayoral election has changed. Previously, people would rank their first preference and second preference. In order to win you would have to get 50 per cent of the votes. Currently, whoever gets the most votes will win. 

Prof Jones said: “If it had been under the old system, he would be on a run-off with the second place candidate (Conservative candidate) and they would have looked at everyone else’s second place candidate and it might’ve given a different outcome.”

Prof Jones added: “Every candidate for the mayoral election said they would have a local referendum on whether they will have an elected mayor.

“Some of the people wanted to go back to the old council leader and cabinet system whereas others wanted to go to a committee system, neither seems to agree which was best and how they would operate.

“Having an elected mayor is the best way forward but we need to separate the mayor and council elections so that the mayor isn’t seen to be quite so all powerful.

“When it was first set up, I was unconvinced, I am now of the opinion that the elected mayor system is a good way of doing it.”