Choosing an elected mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Nearly 600,000 voters in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have the chance to elect the only metro mayor in the Anglia region on Thursday 6 May.

The elected Mayor leads the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority which is made of the seven council leaders in the county - Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire, Fenland, Huntingdonshire, Peterborough, South Cambridgeshire and Cambridgeshire County Council

The Mayor and Combined Authority have powers over transport, housing and planning in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The Mayor gets funding for transport from the government and is responsible for drawing up a Local Transport Plan.

Unlike the rest of the Anglia region, there are three tiers of local government working in Cambridgeshire with the Combined Authority plus the county council and the district or city councils in each area.

The post of elected mayor was created in 2017 with Conservative James Palmer winning the first election.

There are three contenders standing for the elected Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough in 2021

James Palmer is standing for re-election in 2021 for the Conservatives with Labour's candidate Nik Johnson and Aidan Van de Weyer for the Liberal Democrats.

  • Nik Johnson (Lab) is a children's doctor at Hinchingbrooke hospital in Huntingdon. He's also a councillor in St Neots on Huntingdonshire District Council.

  • James Palmer (Con) has been the Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough since 2017. Before that he was the leader of East Cambridgeshire Council and a former county councillor. He ran the family dairy farming business.

  • Aidan Van de Weyer (Lib Dem) is the deputy leader of South Cambridgeshire Council. He has worked in teaching, publishing and financial services.

There are a total of three candidates standing in the May 2021 election compared to seven last time.



How is the Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough elected?

Voting will take place on Thursday 6 May on the same day as votes for Cambridgeshire County Council and the county's Police & Crime Commissioner.

There will also be elections for Cambridge City and Peterborough City Councils, which were postponed from last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cambridgeshire is the only part of the Anglia region to have an elected mayor with strategic powers over transport, housing and planning

The election for the mayor is conducted using the Supplementary Vote system rather than First-Past-The-Post. It mean voters can select a first and second preference candidate.

If one candidate gets more than 50% of the first preference votes they are automatically declared the winner. If they get less than half the votes, the top two candidates go into a run-off.

As there are only three candidates running in 2021, the third place candidate would be eliminated from the race and his second preference votes are allocated to the top two candidates. The winner is the candidate is the highest combined total of first and second preference votes.


2017 Mayoral Election

Only a third of eligible voters turned out to cast their ballot in the first election for the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in May 2017.

The result of the first election for the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayor in May 2017

The Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates were the top two in the count of first preference votes with 38% and 23.5% of the votes respectively.

When the second preferences votes were included, the Conservative was ahead of the Liberal Democrats by more than 21,600 votes and was declared the winner.

Votes are counted in each district of Cambridgeshire and then combined to produce and overall winner.

The Conservative had the highest vote share in five of the six districts. The Liberal Democrats won the highest share of the vote in Cambridge city and were a close second to the Conservatives in South Cambridgeshire.