The Home Secretary has been busy recently. Almost missed by mainstream media was the announcement that after this year mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections will be converted to first past the post. The proposal is a blatant manipulation of the electoral system, for what she believes is the advantage of her party.
Almost no elected representative in this country has the overwhelming support from the majority of the eligible electorate. For example, in Bromley’s Council elections in 2018 the Conservative victor in Bromley Town achieved just 13% of the possible vote (with the Lib Dem candidate just 43 votes short of being elected).
But in cities like London, the Mayor has almost absolute power and as we saw during Mr Johnson’s reign is able to exercise an almost total disregard and disrespect for the views of the assembly. Remember how unaccountable he was, leaving waste in excess of £900,000,000 in his wake.
The one saving feature of recent mayors in London is that while they may not have achieved an overall majority of the possible electorate, at least the majority of those who took the trouble to vote preferred them to an alternative.
The Home Secretary’s assertion that first past the post “provides for stronger and clear local accountability” is false. Like the promise to introduce voter ID the decision is regressive and anti-democratic and we are determined to resist it.