Around £9 a vote for a South Yorkshire mayor who could have been appointed for free

The cost of the election for Sheffield City Region mayor works out at around £9 a vote in one South Yorkshire borough, a senior council official has revealed.

Friday, 4th May 2018, 3:02 pm
Updated Friday, 4th May 2018, 3:06 pm
Mayoral Election Sheffield City Region 2018 Votes are counted at the EIS in Sheffield ahead of the results being announced

Jo Miller, chief executive of Doncaster council, revealed the statistic as it emerged that 260,260 people voted in the poll across the county, equating to a turnout of 25.82 per cent.

The approximate £2m cost of the election has been controversial in the run-up to the vote, with council leaders in Doncaster and Barnsley suggesting that the mayor could be simply appointed and serve a short two-year term.

This would follow the precedent set in Greater Manchester, where crime commissioner Tony Lloyd was chosen by council leaders as interim mayor between 2015 and the election of Andy Burnham in 2017. Ms Miller contrasted the cost of the mayoral election with £2.95 per vote spent on the community poll held in December, where Doncaster and Barnsley residents voted on what kind of devolution deal they preferred.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She wrote in a social media post: “We obviously don’t know the final costs yet of the Sheffield City Region election and they will vary from place to place , but broadly on basis of budget and turnout, it’s approx £9 per vote cast here in Doncaster.”

Turn-out varied from borough to borough. Sheffield and Barnsley, which both had local elections on the same day, had higher turnouts than in Rotherham and Doncaster. Ms Miller later tweeted that the lowest number of votes in a box was from All Saints Owston with 12, while the largest was from St Mary’s Sprotbrough with 353 votes.