Petition for an elected mayor

Citizens have the right to petition for a directly elected Mayor. If the council receives a valid petition signed by at least 5% of the local government electors in its area, it must hold a referendum. If the referendum results in a majority vote in favour of establishing an elected Mayor, the council has to introduce such arrangements.

The petition

Anyone can organise a petition. The petition organiser is responsible for collecting the required number of signatures and submitting the petition to the council. Once the petition has been submitted the petition organiser will be the person with whom we will correspond.

To be valid, a submitted petition must:

  • be signed by at least 5% of people registered to vote at a local government election in Plymouth (this is called the 'verification number' - see below)
  • follow the regulations on how the petition should be formatted and how signatories should be recorded
  • You can read an online version of Regulation 10 of the Local Authorities (Referendum) (Petitions and Directions) (England) Regulations 2000 (as amended)

The minimum number of supporters required (the 'verification number')

We publish the number of people that equals 5% of those registered to vote at a local government election in our area each year. This number is calculated from the Electoral Register.

 Publication of 2020 Verfication Number [PDF, 188KB]

In any year there is a short period of time when there is one of 2 figures that can be used. This is between publication of the number and 31 March that same year. During that time, the alternative number that can be used is the one that was published the previous year. Councils must use the lower of these 2 numbers as the verification figure for any petition submitted during that period.


If you have any questions about the petition for an elected mayor, please contact the Electoral Registration Office on 01752 304866 or email