Nominations have closed for those standing to be the first directly elected Mayor of Bristol on November 15. There are several independents standing. George Ferguson could be one to watch. He is standing as a Bristol First candidate and is owner of Bristol's Tobacco Factory. This is not actually a tobacco factory any more but a theatre and cafe. He is a former Liberal Party councillor and an architect – whose firm has been responsible for worthwhile regeneration and conservation of old buildings but also some pretty ugly modernist schemes.
The election uses the supplementary vote system. This is likely to prove crucial given the political split. At present Bristol City Council has 32 Lib Dem councillors, 22 Labour councillors and 14 Conservatives. But what if the Lib Dems crash? Where will their second preferences go? Will the Lib Dems crash? They held up relatively well in 2011.
Anyway, good luck to the Conservative candidate Cllr Geoff Gollop. He has already won an important victory on policy with the Lib Dem-run council, abandoning plans for a parking levy on business. (He took part in the Taxpayers Alliance demonstration on the matter.)
Cllr Gollop wants to reduce red tape on small firms, put solar panels on council buildings, and introduce an equivalent of Boris Bikes for Bristol.