Ian Stewart romped home in the race to become Salford's first elected Mayor this afternoon, after a second round ballot saw him with more than double the votes of his closest contender, Tory, Karen Garrido.
After Round One of the poll the total votes for each candidate were…
Ian Stewart – Labour – 20,663
Karen Garrido – Conservative – 8055
Bernard Gill – UKIP – 3,368
Pat Ward – Independent – 2,665
Norman Owen – Liberal Democrat – 2,148
Eddy O'Sullivan – BNP – 2,026
Paul Massey – Independent – 1,995
Mike Felse – English Democrat – 1,616
Joe O'Neill – Green Party – 1,273
Michael Moulding – Community Action Party, Exposing Political Fraudsters – 1,065
Only the top four candidates saved their deposit. LibDem Leader Norman Owen lost his deposit, as did all the other bottom place candidates. All were eliminated from the Second Round, bar Stewart and Garrido, and people's second choice votes for these candidates were re-allotted.
After the Second Round, Ian Stewart's votes totalled 23,459 and Karen Garrido's 10,071. Ian Stewart was duly declared Salford's first elected Mayor.
2,913 voting slips in total were rejected during Rounds One and Two, raising questions about the voting system used.
More details of the count to follow shortly…