Priti Patel under fire over plan to change voting system for London mayor


Priti Patel has been accused of “utter disdain for devolution” after she announced plans to switch elections for the Mayor of London to the first-past-the-post system.

The change would apply not only to the election of the capital’s mayor, but to votes for Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales and elected mayors in nine combined authorities in England.

Electoral reform campaigners said the move away from the supplementary vote system would allow unpopular mayors “sneak into city and town halls” to the opposition of a majority of voters.

Under the existing system of election, voters number candidates in order of preference. After a first round of counting, the ballots of less successful contenders are redistributed between the two most popular candidates in a run-off to find a winner.

The system is designed to ensure that the mayor or PCC has a broad base of support in the area and to prevent relatively unpopular parties installing their candidate thanks to a split in the opposition vote.


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