Jump to content

Mayoral Elections 2018

Mayoral elections take place on Thursday May 3 in the London boroughs of Hackney, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets as well as the borough of Watford.

In addition, the election of a new Sheffield City Region Mayor is going ahead on May 3 despite on-going controversy over Yorkshire devolution. The poll will take place in the four constituent council areas of the Sheffield City Region devolved authority: Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster. Government ministers have referred to the post as being that of “South Yorkshire Mayor” but guidance from the authority is that the title of “Sheffield City Region Mayor” will be used for the election.

Mayoral elections took place last May in six new devolved super-regions: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough; Greater Manchester; Liverpool City Region; Tees Valley; West Midlands; and West of England.

The mayoral elections use the supplementary voting (SV) system where if any candidate obtains more than half the vote in the first round of voting they are elected immediately. But if no candidate achieves more than 50% the two candidates with the most votes go into a second-round contest. All the others are eliminated and their second-preference votes are distributed to the two remaining candidates to decide the outcome.

Wire messages for these polls will be sent in plain text (TTY) format.

For details of messages in XML format for digital products, please see the page on XML format at Message Specifications

Key dates and times:

  • Nominations close: Friday April 6.
  • Polling Day: Thursday May 3 – polling from 0700 to 2200.
  • Declarations: in the early hours of Friday May 4 for Tower Hamlets; on Friday afternoon for the remainder.

PA council serial numbers for mayoral polls:

  1. Hackney
  2. Lewisham
  3. Newham
  4. Sheffield City Region
  5. Tower Hamlets
  6. Watford


Nominations for each of the mayoral elections will be sent as soon as possible after they become available on the closing date.

The catchline will be topic ELECTION, keyword Nominations Mayor followed by the specific election. For example, the Hackney mayoral nominations will be catchlined: ELECTION Nominations Mayor Hackney

The category code will be: XTA

The party order for nominations will be: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and Ukip, followed by minor parties ranked alphabetically by party name.

Note that, because each election is a separate entity in our system, XML format nominations and results will have different party IDs for the same parties in the six polls. Customers must ensure they use the IDs specific to each poll.

The message will include a historical summary of the result from the previous main election.

Revised sets of mayoral nominations will be sent as necessary in the run-up to polling day, with a final run on the afternoon of Wednesday May 2.


As soon as the winner is declared, whether it is after the first or second round of voting, a rush will be sent.

TThe catchline will be topic POLL, keyword Mayor followed by the specific election and council serial number. For example, rush with the outcome of the Hackney mayoral election will be catchlined: POLL Mayor Hackney 1

The category code will be: XTJ

Fictional examples of the text:

  • Sir John James (C) elected on first count at Watford

  • Heather Wilson (Lab) elected on second count at Lewisham


Detailed results will be sent after each round of voting.

They will be catchlined POLL Mayor followed by the specific election and council serial number. For example, mayoral results from Hackney will be catchlined: POLL Mayor Hackney 1

The category code will be: XTP

Under first-count details, we will give candidates in vote order with their party, vote, vote share and change since the previous elections.

If a candidate is elected at this stage, there then follows the word “Elected:” followed by the winner’s name.

However, if no-one has been elected and there is to be a second round, the message will state “Eliminated:” and give the names of the eliminated candidates.

In both cases, this is followed by electorate, turnout and turnout change and the previous election summary.

A second-round result, when sent, will start with a repeat of the first-round details.

These will be followed with the names of the eliminated candidates whose votes are being distributed.

Then will follow the names of the two remaining candidates with their second-round votes only – no percentages.

Then comes the word “Elected:” followed by the winner’s name.

This is followed by electorate, turnout and turnout change and the previous election summary.

As an example, here is the result of the May 2016 Bristol mayoral election after two rounds of voting:

(First Count)
Marvin Rees (Lab) 56,729 (40.43%, +11.38%)
*George Ferguson (Bristol 1st) 32,375 (23.07%, -12.06%)
Charles Lucas (C) 19,617 (13.98%, +4.85%)
Tony Dyer (Green) 10,000 (7.13%, +1.24%)
Kay Barnard (LD) 8,078 (5.76%, -1.20%)
Paul Turner (UKIP) 7,115 (5.07%)
Tom Baldwin (TUSC) 1,876 (1.34%, +1.34%)
Stoney Garnett (Ind) 1,384 (0.99%, -0.60%)
Christine Townsend (Ind) 1,010 (0.72%)
Tony Britt (Ind) 877 (0.63%)
Paul Saville (Ind) 545 (0.39%)
John Langley (Ind) 367 (0.26%)
Festus Kudehinbu (Ind) 341 (0.24%)
Eliminated: Tom Baldwin, Kay Barnard, Tony Britt, Tony Dyer, Stoney Garnett, Festus Kudehinbu, John Langley, Charles Lucas, Paul Saville, Christine Townsend, Paul Turner
(Second Count)
Distribution of Baldwin's, Barnard's, Britt's, Dyer's, Garnett's, Kudehinbu's, Langley's, Lucas's, Saville's, Townsend's and Turner's votes
Marvin Rees (Lab) 68,750
*George Ferguson (Bristol 1st) 39,577
Elected: Marvin Rees
Eliminated: George Ferguson
Electorate 311,554; Turnout 140,314 (45.04%, +17.74%)
2012: Turnout 89,152 (27.29%)
First Count - Ferguson (Bristol 1st) 31,321; Rees (Lab) 25,896;
Gollop (C) 8,136; Rogers (LD) 6,202; Radice (Green) 5,248; George
(Ind) 2,404; Murphy (Ind) 1,855; Maggs (Respect) 1,568; Garnett (Ind)
1,413; Baldwin (TUSC) 1,412; Collins (Ind) 1,037; Pover (Ind) 994;
Britt (Ind) 761; Fisher (Ind) 494; Dobbs (Birthday) 411. Elected:

If a result has to be corrected, the catchline will be styled POLL Correction Mayor followed by the specific election and constituency number. Example: POLL Correction Mayor Hackney 1. Where there is a change to the winning party a rush correction will be sent, catchlined in the same way.

Party Abbreviations

  • Conservative (C)
  • Labour (Lab)
  • Liberal Democrat (LD)
  • Green (Green)
  • Aspire (Aspire)
  • Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA)
  • Democrats and Veterans Party (DVP)
  • English Democrats (Eng Dem)
  • Independent (Ind)
  • People Before Profit (PBF)
  • People's Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH)
  • South Yorkshire Save Our NHS (Save NHS)
  • The Yorkshire Party (Yorkshire)
  • Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)
  • Women's Equality Party (Women)

Additional parties that took part in previous mayoral elections on 22 May 2014:

  • United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)
  • Communities United Party (Communities UP)
  • Putting Hackney First (Hackney 1st)
  • Tower Hamlets First (TH First)

Quick Reference Table

Catchlines and category codes:

:: Nominations: ELECTION Nominations Mayor (followed by election and mayoral serial number) – XTA

:: Rush: POLL Mayor (followed by election and mayoral serial number) – XTJ

:: Result: POLL Mayor (followed by election and mayoral serial number) – XTP

:: Rush correction: POLL Correction Mayor (followed by election and mayoral serial number) – XTJ

:: Result correction: POLL Correction Mayor (followed by election and mayoral serial number) – XTP

Elections Live Coverage

All narrative copy, claims/pointers (giving indications in key seats in advance of declarations), reaction and analysis, will run in the general news service using the usual editorial code: HHH


We will be sending test results ahead of the election. Fictitious candidate names and voting figures will be generated at random. Please see separate advisory for the provisional test programme.

All test material will be marked clearly as "PA Test" and the word "Test" will appear in fictional candidate names.

You MUST check before polling day that any test material has been cleared from your systems.


Speak to Elections Editor Roger Smith on 020 7963 7992 or email via the Contact us page. During nominations or election events, phone the Elections Desk on 020 7963 7992, Newsdesk on 020 7963 7146 or Customer Services on 01430 455337.

Customers, especially digital-only customers who do not see PA wire advisories, may wish to follow @pressassocpolls on twitter for technical and operational updates from the Elections Desk.

Top of page