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Salford Mayoral Elections 2012: Full preview – with the candidates

Reporters on the scene: Sean-Paul Doran, Mary Maguire, Ben Burrows & Najeeb Rehman

Salford will learn who will become their first ever elected mayor today with the count beginning at 11am this morning.

There are 10 candidates vying for the role and have been hard on the campaign trail for several months.

Salford seems somewhat isolated in its support for a democratically elected mayor with cities all around the country including Manchester rejecting the idea in referendums last night.

Rumour overnight was of a low turnout and all eyes will be on the ballot boxes here at the Salford City Stadium to see who has won the race.

Labour’s Ian Stewart believes he has the vision and experience to change Salford for the better.

“If elected I promise I will work with employers, local communities, workers’ and other organisations and educational services to bring the resources we need into the City,” he said.

He added: “By cutting too far, too fast, the Tories and Lib Dems are potentially forcing another recession upon us and it will be Salford people who pay the price.”

Conservative Karen Garrido believes passionately in the city and what can be achieved if the community works together.

“Whoever you are, whatever your background, wherever in the city you live, if you love Salford and want us to thrive, I will speak up for you,” she said.

She added: “I will talk to anyone but no way will I go into a cabinet with a BNP Mayor.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Norman Owen lost his Claremount seat last night and has come out fighting this morning.

“You can’t squander £1.2trillion, leave the country with £358billion debt and say it’s not our fault.

“They’ve been playing on national politics it’s worked for them here.”

UKIP candidate Bernard Gill has mixed emotions about his chances but is happy with how the elections have gone for his party.

“The whole election went well for us – we feel we are now the official third party in local elections.

He did concede however that Westminster will be harder to win over.

Michael Felse, of the English Democrats said: “It seems like the biggest winners here in Salford are the no voters – 130,000 no votes.”

The election here in Salford could be a complicated affair with a supplementary vote system in place.

Initially, all the first choice votes will be counted and if one candidate gets more than 50% of the first votes cast, they are then elected.

If nobody gets 50% of the first choice votes then things get a little more complicated with only the highest two remaining in the race and second choice votes determining who is elected.

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