Updated: Friday, 24th November 2017 @ 8:08am

Election 2016 - Salford mayoral race: Labour retain power at top of council after close call

Election 2016 - Salford mayoral race: Labour retain power at top of council after close call

| By Duncan Robinson and Nic Marko

It may have been a mixed picture nationally but there was some good news for Labour in Salford as Paul Dennett was named the second directly elected mayor of the city.

The victory was not as straightforward as many would have thought however as a second count was ordered in the supplementary voting.

Before that 1,200 spoiled votes had to be checked and re-counted as the wait to find out the new mayor was delayed.

In the original vote Labour only managed to accrue 49.56 percent of the 50 percent majority needed with the Conservative’s Robin Garrido in second.

 

 

This count saw the new mayor claim 24,209 votes, Garrido 11,810, the UKIP representative Owen Hammond 8,668 and Green Party’s Wendy Olsen 4, 158.

In the second count that included just Mr Dennett and the Conservative contender, the Labour candidate claimed victory with 28,412 votes (66 percent overall).

 

 

The new mayor, clearly emotional after the victory, said that the people of this city had given him an ‘incredible opportunity but also a very serious responsibility.’

He also thanked predecessor Ian Stewart for his continued support over the past four years stating he had served the city with “passion and dedication.”

Further praise was reserved for the people of Salford for their support and resilience throughout the campaign and for staying with Labour.

“This is an important moment for Salford,” he said.

“The people have a rich history of Labour here and in the face of the onslaught of austerity from the government, Salfordians still look to us for hope and change in the context of Tory attacks.”

Throughout all of this he believes the Labour party has stood on a platform for hope and change and provided an ‘alternative to austerity’.

He also claimed that the Tories have shown their true colours in recent times with a clear distain for everyday people in the city.

“This is an organisation that is tearing apart the lives of millions of people in this country with vicious cuts in the public sector and in Salford offer more of the same,” he said.

“We can choose to build an economy which harbors every individual in society and provides for the vulnerable by giving them a voice.

“It is my solemn pledge to do justice to the ambitions and dreams of the people.”

Robin Garrido claimed 14,484 votes for the Tories but reiterated that his party is on the right path going forward.

“We have improved our position and we will continue to do so between now and the next election,” he said.

“What the people of Salford will realise is that after four decades of Labour rule in Salford things need to change.

“I urge them to use their vote the right way at the ballot box in future.”