All political eyes are on Bristol as poll day looms
WITH less than a week to go before the city chooses its first elected mayor "it's all eyes on Bristol", according to the Labour Party's deputy leader.
Harriet Harman spoke to The Post on a visit to the city, where she joined Labour mayor hopeful Marvin Rees campaigning in Stockwood.
Her visit coincided with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett touring Bristol with her party's candidate, Daniella Radice.
Mrs Harman spent the morning visiting voters and drumming up support for Labour's mayor and police and crime commissioner candidates.
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After speaking to residents in Whittock Road, the deputy leader told The Post: "First and foremost we need to have a mayor in Bristol to stand up for people who are having a really hard time with the Tory and Lib Dem coalition in power.
"Marvin is the man for the job and he can help put Bristol on the map. Bristol has a great history but it could be even better with Marvin in power."
She added: "It's a very important time for us and it's all eyes on Bristol as there's no other mayor election that Labour is fighting for."
Mr Rees said that recent polling data collected by The Post putting him in the lead made no difference.
He said: "Polls aren't results. The important thing is to make sure we are still talking to people and continue to work on the opportunity that the referendum has given us.
"Our plan is to just keep on going and keep on campaigning up until the last day."
Mrs Harman's visit came on the same day that Ms Radice received a boost from Green Party national leader, Ms Bennett.
Campaigning on St Augustine's Parade, Ms Radice told The Post that a lead in the polls for people's second preference was a promising sign.
She said: "The great thing about this election is that it gives people the chance to express their preference properly. People who wanted to vote for us in the past but didn't because they didn't see us as a big enough party can make the right choice now."
She added: "But our message to the voters is to stick with the greens as their first choice. We are the party that is right to lead the city."
Party leader Natalie Bennett said the election in Bristol presented the party with a great opportunity.
She said: "Walking through Bristol it feels like a green city. It's a city which we feel understands the Green Party's message. It's also a city that understands our policies on the environment and equality."
The two continued their tour of Bristol into Stokes Croft where they visited small businesses and the Coexist network in Hamilton House.
Mrs Bennett said: "Today is a great opportunity to see what people are doing differently in Bristol.
"We support local small businesses and we want to see more of them working through the council."
In a poll published earlier this week, Mr Rees leads the way for first preference votes with 21 per cent.
The second and third favourites on first choice votes were George Ferguson (Bristol 1st) with nine per cent and Geoff Gollop (Conservative) with seven per cent.
The top-scoring second choice was the Ms Radice, with four per cent. Mr Rees, Mr Ferguson and the Lib Dem candidate Jon Rogers all had three per cent.
However, 53 per cent of those asked had not decided whom to support yet with the election only a week away.
The supplementary voting system used means that voters are asked to chose a first and second preference.
The first choice votes will be counted and if there is a candidate with a 50 per cent majority, then they will be declared the winner.
But if they fail to reach this threshold then the top two candidates will go on to a "play-off" using second preference votes.
The elections are to be held on November 15, on the same day as the police and crime commissioner elections.