Voting is underway across Bristol as people choose between a mayoral model and a committee system for their city - with the result expected in the early hours of tomorrow morning (May 6).
Residents in the city have the chance to keep or discard the current system of the directly-elected mayor and cabinet introduced 10 years ago, currently headed by mayor Marvin Rees, who will hold the position until 2024, regardless of the result.
The alternative system is a committee model of government where decisions are made by groups of local councillors.
The city voted for the mayoral system in 2012 - the only city in the country to do so - with George Ferguson the first elected mayor. But at a council meeting in December, councillors voted for a new referendum on the system to be held.
Follow live updates below on the voting, the count and, finally, the result in the early hours of tomorrow morning:
Bristol Mayoral Referendum LIVE:
Mayor Marvin Rees told reporters after the count came in that he ‘does not take personally’ the outcome, and that he harboured fears for the future.
“I really hope that my fears over the committee system are not warranted and that it proves to be successful,” he said.
Full story here
The people have spoken
59.41% voted to scrap the mayoral role
Lib Dem Councillor Alex Hartley, who brought the motion for a committee system in December, told us: “The general feeling is that this has been a very popular campaign.
“We’re very hopeful that it’s going to go our way tonight. Around 20,000 more people voted in this referendum than in 2012.
“The turnout is not as high as we’d like it to be, ideally we’d like it to be 100%, but it shows there’s a very clear view from the city on where they want this leadership to go.”
Turns out the turnout for this year’s mayoral referendum is higher than in 2012 - 28.59%. A total of 94,937 people voted for or against retaining the mayoral model on Thursday (May 5) from an electorate of 332,028.
Although we don’t yet know the turnout in this referendum, rumour has it that it could be even lower than the turnout for the mayoral referendum 2012 (24%)