Stuart Drummond, whose main claim to fame when he was first elected was that he dressed up in a monkey suit as mascot of the local football team, has been reelected comfortably as Mayor of Hartlepool for a third term.
When he was first elected, his election was portrayed as showing that the idea of directly-elected Mayors was a joke. Certainly, his election was intended by local people as a protest against the main political parties. However, they have since voted for him again twice, which rather suggests that he is getting something right. His main challenger this time was also an independent – the boss of a local taxi firm. The Labour candidate came third and the Conservative seventh after UKIP, the BNP and another independent.
Certainly, his re-election means that his original election can no longer be used as an argument that directly-elected Mayoral systems will automatically result in electors voting frivolously.