Campaigners fighting for an elected mayor in Bristol are fearing the worst as a low turnout and a string of ‘no’votes across the country combine to paint a bleak picture for their chances.
This morning, one of the team’s chief campaigners Stephen Perry took to Facebook to virtually concede defeat two hours before the count has even started.
Responding to Green Party councillor Gus Hoyt, Mr Perry – who has been involved in publicising the ‘yes’ campaign – said: “Gus, victory is almost certainly yours.”
He added that the initial reports of a 24% turnout across the city were “credible”.
So far, four out of ten cities holding referendums on the issue have all seen voters reject David Cameron’s plan to introduce elected mayors.
Manchester voted against the proposal by a margin of 53.24% to 46.76%. In Nottingham the margin was bigger at 57.5% to 42.5%. And in Bradford 55.13% of voters opposed the change.
Meanwhile, in Coventry almost two thirds of voters rejected the plans – by 63.58% to 36.42%.
Mr Perry added: “It is looking grim. It has felt bad on the streets the past few days. I encountered conservatism wherever I went. The British fear change. Defeat in four cities bodes ill.”
The count will begin at 10am at the Ashton Gate conference centre and a result is expected early this afternoon. Bristol24-7 will be at the count and you can find out the result as soon as it is announced by following us on Twitter @bristol247 and on Facebook…