Bristol referendum 2022: City votes to scrap directly elected mayor in favour of committee system

59.41% voted to scrap the mayoral role

Bristolians have voted against having a directly-elected mayor to run their city.

The referendum saw 56,113 people (59.41%) vote to scrap the current mayoral model, while 38,439 voted to have an elected mayor.

A total of 94,937 voted out of an electorate of 332,028, including 379 spoiled ballot papers. The turnout was 28.59% - higher than expected.

The result was announced at around 3.30am at Oasis Academy Brislington this morning (Friday, May 6).

It recieved rapturous applause from members of It’s Our City Bristol, who have been campaigning for the mayoral role to be dropped.

It comes almost 10 years since the first Bristol mayoral referendum, when the turnout was 24 per cent and the decision was made to create the post of Mayor of Bristol.

Members of the Scrap the Mayor campaign react to the result.

Mary Page, co-founder of It’s Our City Bristol, said: “I’d like to thank the people of Bristol for turning out to vote in much greater numbers than you did last time around.

“Thank you for trusting us and for having belief in the system. I hope we can have positive change in the city.”

Asked if he took the result personally, current Bristol mayor Marvin Rees replied: “I’ve made it clear that I’m not running again. This was never about me - it’s about the system.

“It was important for me to step back and let the city decide. The numbers are the numbers.

“I hope my fears about the committee system, and the major consequences I think it will have, are wrong.”

He added that he would ‘continue to work hard for Bristol’ for the remaining two years of his term as mayor, and that he hoped the momentum he had built up for the city would be maintained.