Expert media commentary for Bristol Mayoral election

Issue date: 11 April 2016

Robin Hambleton and Lisa Harrison

Academic opinion is frequently sought out by the media during election campaigns and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has two leading experts who will be in high demand between now and the Bristol Mayoral and local council elections in May 2016.

Professor Robin Hambleton, an expert in local democracy with specialism in the Mayoral form of local governance, and Dr Lisa Harrison, an expert on UK elections and electoral systems, will be available for media commentary during the lead up to the Mayoral election in Bristol.

Robin Hambleton is Professor of City Leadership at UWE Bristol. Together with Dr David Sweeting from the University of Bristol he conducted a major study looking at the before and after impact of a directly elected Mayoral form of governance in Bristol that was published in 2015.

The study - 'The impacts of mayoral governance in Bristol' - presents a unique insight into the perceptions of different socio economic groups in the city and from local councillors. Click here to read more.

Professor Hambleton said, “I think that the people of Bristol will be more interested in the Mayoral election this time around. Traditionally local elections have a lower turn out than national elections, but there is a good chance that, because mayoral leadership has been very visible this last few years, citizens will be energised to participate.

“Before the Mayoral style of governance was introduced in Bristol many people in the city did not really know what difference it would make. It was new and unfamiliar. This time around people have experience of the power that a Mayor can exercise to get things done.”

Dr Lisa Harrison has focused on the candidates for the local council and the Mayoral election.

She said, “I am very interested in what causes people to turn out and the reasons why people vote the way they do. I will be looking at the ways in which the local and national political landscape has changed since the last local and Mayoral elections and how this might impact here in Bristol.

“This election does promise to be very interesting particularly in the light of the national picture. Those candidates standing under a party label may find that they are helped or hindered by broader perceptions of party politics – could the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader impact upon support for Marvin Rees, for example?

“But he is up against a strong contender in George Ferguson who has demonstrated enormous success at getting Bristol's interests noticed by national government and on the international stage with the Green Capital win. This said, Ferguson's track record has not received universal approval – could a fresh face in office be more attractive?”

Call the UWE Media relations team on 0117 3282208 to book interviews with Dr Harrison or Professor Hambleton.

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