History made as borough goes to the mayoral polls

A polling station in Hindley
A polling station in Hindley

Tens of thousands of borough residents have the chance to elect the first ever Mayor of Greater Manchester today.

More than 1,400 polling stations in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport Tameside, Trafford and Wigan opened at 7am and will only close at 10pm.

In Wigan one of the more unusual places to exercise your democratic right today is Hindley fire station on Borsdane Avenue.

And this has been the case in several previous polls, the garage of a home on Rectory Lane, Standish, is also being pressed into use rather than the more common schools, community centres, churches, church halls, sports clubs and portable polling stations.

Another curiosity is the Botanical Gardens Association base on Tyldesley Road, Atherton, while the Boars Head pub at Standish is welcoming voters again.

Eight candidates are vying for the votes.

People can find the location of their polling station on their poll card but if they do not know it they can check with the election office based at Wigan Council. You do not need to have your poll card with you to be able to vote but it does save time if you do.

Anyone who has requested a postal vote but left it too late to post their ballot pack back can still drop it off at any polling station in the borough, or their local elections office, on the day.

Wigan Council returning officer Donna Hall said: “Greater Manchester’s mayor will make important decisions that affect the whole region and Wigan borough locally. It’s important that our residents have their say and cast their votes.”

The count for all 10 Greater Manchester local authority areas, and the declaration of the winner, takes place at Manchester Central Convention Complex tomorrow.

This election uses the Supplementary Voting System, which gives electors the opportunity to cast their vote for their first and second choice candidates.

If one candidate gets more than 50 per cent of the first choice votes, they will become Mayor. If no candidate gets this majority, there will be a second count in which the two candidates with the most first choice votes remain in the running and all other candidates are eliminated.

The second choice votes of people who voted for eliminated candidates will then be counted and any second choice votes for the two remaining candidates added to their first choice totals. The candidate who has the highest overall total will then be declared the Mayor.