All-out elections in Bristol on the cards for 2016
Bristol's political leaders are moving towards agreement over all-out local elections in the city.
The most likely outcome is for them to be held on the same day as the next mayoral election in 2016.
The current system sees one-third of the city's 70 councillors stand for election every 12 months.
But this system is seen as confusing for voters and prevents wholesale change.
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It has lasted so long because the party in power has usually favoured "one-third" elections because they are less likely to lose control of the council.
If councillors decide to hold local elections on the same day as choosing a city mayor, then it could save council taxpayers upto £800,000 in organising costs.
But council officers are worried that voters might be confused by two types of elections using different voting systems being held on the same day.
Another option would be to hold local elections at the midway point in the mayor's term of office.
But this is fraught with even more difficulties because depending on the outcome, the mayor might be forced to make sweeping cabinet changes and lose the momentum of their leadership.
The move towards all-out elections is being promoted by Peter Abraham, leader of the Tory group, who said change is desperately needed.
He said: "When you've got upto three-quarters of voters not taking part in local elections, then clearly the system is not working and something needs to be done.
"It goes without saying that saving money is important but it is vital that we have a voting system which is popular and engages people in the decision-making process."
Mr Abraham is also keen for people to be able to vote online or by using their mobile phones.
The Liberal Democrats are understood to be coming round to the idea of all-out elections.
But they are keen on a review of ward boundaries because some councillors are serving more than 10,000 people while others represent less than 6,000.
Labour councillors are also believed to be moving towards supporting a change although they will not make a decision until a private meeting on Monday night.
City mayor George Ferguson was elected in November for a three-and-a-half-year term of office until May, 2016.
If the council decides on all-out elections to coincide with the mayoral election, then the current "one-third" system would remain until 2015.
Mr Abraham said there was a case for asking the Government to scrap "one-third" elections in 2015 in order to prepare properly for all-out elections in the following year.
He said: "I hope we don't see a political row over the issue of all-out elections.
"I'm hoping we will begin to see a more consensual approach to local politics where we can agree things through discussion and compromise."
A private meeting of party leaders will be held during the next two weeks to see if they can reach agreement.
If they do, then proposals will be put to a specially-convened meeting of the full council in February because a two-thirds majority is required on constitutional changes.
South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset councils have all had all-out elections since the former Avon County Council was scrapped in the mid 1990s.
It means that voters in these areas have the opportunity every four years to force wholesale change.