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The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayoral Election: A Breakdown

The election for the mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is set to take place on the 6th of May 2021. This will be only the second election of its kind after 2017. It will elect the mayor for the Combined Authority of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 led to the creation of ‘Metro mayors’ who would lead combined authorities. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough became one of these combined authorities. As part of the devolution deal the mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has the following responsibilities:

  • £600 million budget for local economic growth

  • £170 million budget for housing, including affordable and council housing, with £70 million of that specifically for Cambridge

  • Transport

  • Provision of skills (training and apprenticeships)

  • Integration of local health and social care resources

  • Integration of local employment services, and design of a National Work and Health Programme alongside the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Figure 1: Current mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, Conservative

Electoral System

Elections for mayors of combined authorities use the Supplementary Vote system (SV). This system produces a single winner. Voters are given a first and second preference choice; if one candidate receives over 50% of the first preference votes, then they are declared the winner. However, if no candidate gets over this threshold then all but the top two candidates are eliminated, and the second preference votes are counted. The second preference votes for the top two candidates are added to their respective scores and whoever receives the most votes after this is elected to the position.

Last Election

The First election for the mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough took place in 2017. The Conservative candidate, James Palmer, won in the second round beating the Liberal Democrat candidate, Rod Cantrill, to become the first Metro Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. Although Rod Cantrill got nearly 8,000 more second preference votes than Palmer, the Conservative candidate was still able to win by 21,621 votes.

Figure 2: Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Election Results, BBC


James Palmer (Conservative Party) the current mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is running for re-election. He is running on the following policies:

  • 100k Homes Initiative

  • Provide affordable homes for first time buyers

  • Each home is covenanted so that they cannot be bought to let or be sold on at market value for profit

  • Fund the completion of the new university ARU Peterborough

  • Develop Cambridge Autonomous Metro (CAM)

Aidan Van Der Weyer (Liberal Democrats) plans to transform the area with the following policies:

  • Create a green transport option that offers a realistic alternative to the car

  • Build affordable homes

  • Help renters get stable long-term tenancies

  • Get more young people into good training

  • Improve access to post-16 education

Nik Johnson (Labour Party) is a current district councillor in Huntingdonshire and is running on the following platform:

  • Build a Northern Cambridgeshire Powerhouse by harnesses the unique qualities of the area

  • Develop better transport links so the county is better connected

  • Improve public health by delivering:

  • High quality housing

  • Integrated transport systems promoting freedom without pollution

  • Promote work, education and skills opportunities in a digital era for all

Participation is typically low in these kinds of local elections, however, we at The Youth Vote want to change that. We would like to encourage young people in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area to engage with politics and to participate in this upcoming mayoral election on the 6th of May 2021. Local politics has a direct impact on young people’s lives so if you want to have your voice heard then register to vote and vote at the next election.

Register to vote here:

Jonas Volkwein, Head of Policy and News

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