World mayors, their
parties and politics

By Andrew Stevens

ON THIS PAGE: Introduction ||| Mayors, parties and politics ||| Americas ||| Europe ||| Australasia ||| Asia ||| Africa ||| International associations |||


FRONT PAGE
About us






ON OTHER PAGES
Mayoral Code of Ethics
Voter turnout - an international comparison
French mayors who became presidents and prime ministers

Belgian Mayors (2016)
British Mayors (2016)
Canadian Mayors (2016)
French Mayors (2016)
German mayors (2017)
Italian mayors (2016)
Japanese mayors 2016
Polish mayors (2016)
Spanish mayors (2016)
US mayors (2016)




The 2016 World
Mayor Honours


1 Bart Somers, Mechelen, Belgium

2 Wolfgang G Müller, Lahr, Germany

3 Georgios Kaminis, Athens, Greece

4 Guisi Nicolini, Lampedusa, Italy

5 Richard Arnold, Schwäbisch Gmünd,
Germany

6 Mirjam van 't Veld, Amstelveen Netherlands

7 Spiros Galinos, Lesbos, Greece

8 Pavel Adamowicz, Gdansk, Poland

9 Damien Carême, Grande-Synthe, France

10 Henriette Reker, Cologne, Germany

World Mayor enquiries:
worldmayor@gmail.com




Introduction
20 March 2017: Well into the second decade of this century, the global pattern of urbanization remains wedded to governance by mayors and city leaders of differing political colours. In this biennial survey of urban political allegiances (since 2009), City Mayors examines the role of partisan politics in how mayors are chosen to lead the world's largest cities, even in what is occasionally termed an anti-political era.

In our 2009 report (updated 2011 and 2014) we assessed what political characteristics, if any, were shared by the world’s biggest city governments. As we observed in this first survey, over the previous decade conservatives at national level had scored a number of electoral successes around the world, with many citizens identifying with messages on security, leaner government and lower taxes – yet, back then, many of the world’s largest and most prominent cities were still governed by mayors by progressives or the centre-left. As noted back then, many of these had learned and keenly applied personal branding through the office of mayor as a tool of the trade in order to get things done and remain electable.

Fast forward to the latter half of this decade however and conservatives remain in many countries the natural party of government, consolidating their grip on power as the fortunes of social democrats recede. It is against this backdrop, where national governments are often dubbed as unresponsive or gripped by paralysis, that mayoral governance has come to the fore, with political recognition and even a so-called 'Global Parliament of Mayors' to accompany this. Whether this is a peak or tipping point remains to be seen, but most western governments at least continue to advocate forms of decentralisation to meet the demands of good governance and manage electoral expectations, not least as nation states contend with the constraints of globalisation. 

So then, what does the latest data tell us. Firstly, few mayors elected in the 00s remain in post, as for that you would have to visit either Caracas, Istanbul or Helsinki, though both Sydney and Melbourne's Lord Mayors are still going strong (elected 2004 and 2008 respectively). Elsewhere in the southern hemisphere, 2016 was Labour's year in New Zealand as it took both main city mayoralties in local elections. Elected in 1994, Michael Häupl of Austrian capital Vienna remains the longest serving city leader on the table however. 

Europe recorded a number of minor upsets to the established order since the last survey also, beginning with the left coalition takeover of Oslo City Council in 2015 which saw the nationally governing Conservatives exiting the city hall and Labour's Raymond Johansen taking office. London gained Europe's first Muslim mayor of a capital city in the form of Sadiq Khan, who retook city hall for Labour after an eight year absence. Not all gains were for the left however, as a corruption scandal in Rome saw Ignazio Marino of the Democratic Party forced to resign, with his successor Virginia Raggi taking office on behalf of the populist Five Star Movement (which claims no position on the right/left spectrum). 

The bigger story here is perhaps the clean sweep witnessed in Latin America of parties of the centre-right, while in Brazil the problems faced by the erstwhile governing Workers' Party continued to be compounded this year with the loss of Sao Paulo (where it was founded) and the continuing breakthrough of religious populist parties in other strongholds. 

Elsewhere, in South Africa the best-ever showing for the liberal opposition Democratic Alliance this year saw it take control of Johannesburg this year in the form of Herman Mashaba, while in 2015 liberal Mohammed Sajid ended his tenure as mayor of Casablanca and was succeeded by an Islamist. Bangkok's Sukhumbhand Paribatra, also a liberal, was removed from office this year by the country's ruling junta on unspecified corruption charges and replaced by an appointed police chief.

Also falling foul of corruption allegations in 2016 was Tokyo's Yoichi Masuzoe, replaced in the ensuing special election by former cabinet minister Yuriko Koike, who nominally represents her former centre-right governing Liberal Democratic Party in the capital.  She has since founded her own 'Tokyoites First' party with the aim of securing more allies in the city assembly, at the expense of Japan's ruling party. 


Mayors, parties
and politics
City
Mayor
First elected
Party* & Politics
Americas
Boston Marty Walsh
2013
Democratic (Centre)
Chicago Rahm Emmanuel
2011
Democratic (Centre)
Los Angeles Eric Garcetti
2013
Democratic (Centre)
New York City Bill de Blasio
2013
Democratic (Centre-left)
San Francisco Edwin Lee
2011
Democratic (Centre)
Toronto John Tory
2014
Independent/Progressive Conservative (Centre-right)
Vancouver Gregor Robertson
2008
New Democratic Party (SI) (Centre-left)
Washington DC Muriel Bowser
2015
Democratic (Centre)
Bogotá Enrique Peñalosa
2015
Radical Change (Centre-right)
Buenos Aires Horacio Rodríguez Larrata
2015
Republican Proposal (Centre-right)
Caracas Antonio Ledezma
2008
Fearless Peoples Alliance (Centre-left)
Lima Luis Castañada Lossio
2015
National Solidarity (Centre-right) 
Mexico City Miguel Ángel Mancera
2012
Independent (Centre-left)
Rio de Janeiro Marcello Crivello
2016
Brazilian Republican (Centre-right) 
Santiago Carolina Tohá
2012
Party for Democracy (SI/PA) (Centre-left)
São Paulo Joao Doria
2016
Brazilian Social Democracy (Centre) 
Europe
Amsterdam Eberhard van der Laan
2010
Labour Party (PA/SI) (Centre-left)
Athens Georgios Kaminis
2010
Independent - supported by PASOK and New Democracy - (Centre)
Barcelona Ada Colau
2015
Indignados (Left)
Berlin Michael Müller
2014
Social Democratic Party (PA/SI) (Centre-left)
Brussels Yvan Mayeur
2013
Socialist Party (SI/PA) (Centre-left)
Copenhagen Frank Jensen
2009
Social Democrats (SI/PA) (Centre-left)
Frankfurt Peter Feldmann
2012
Social Democratic Party (PA/SI) (Centre-left)
Helsinki Jussi Pajunen
2005
National Coalition Party (IDU) (Centre-right)
London Sadiq Khan
2016
Labour  (PA/SI) (Centre-left) 
Madrid Manuela Carmena
2015
Podemos (Left)
Milan Giuliano Pisapia
2011
Left Ecology Freedom / Democratic Party (Left)
Moscow Sergey Sobyanin
2010
United Russia (Centre-right)
Munich Dieter Reiter
2014
Social Democratic Party (PA/SI) (Centre-left)
Oslo Raymond Johansen
2015
Labour (PA/SI) (Centre-left) 
Paris Anne Hidalgo
2014
Socialist Party (PA/SI) (Centre-left)
Rome Virginia Raggi
2016
Five Star Movement
Stockholm Karin Wanngard
2014
Social Democrats (PA/SI) (Centre-left) 
Vienna Michael Häupl
1994
Social Democratic Party (SI/PA) (Centre-left)
Warsaw Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
2006
Civic Platform (Centre-right)
Zurich Corine Mauch
2009
Social Democratic Party (SI) (Centre-left)
Australasia
Auckland Phil Goff
2016
Labour (PA) (Centre-left) 
Melbourne Robert Doyle
2008
Liberal Party (Centre-right)
Sydney Clover Moore
2004
Independent (Centre)
Wellington Justin Lester
2016
Labour (PA) (Centre-left) 
Asia
Ankara Melih Gökçek
1994
Justice and Development Party (Centre-right)
Bangkok Vacant
n/a
n/a
Beijing Cai Qi
2016
Communist Party of China
Delhi NCT Arvin Kerjriwal
2015
Aam Aadmi (Centre-left)
Istanbul Kadir Topbas
2004
Justice and Development Party (Centre-right)
Jakarta Basuki Tjahaja Purnama
2014
Indonesian Democratic Party - Struggle (Centre)
Manila Joseph Estrada
2013
Force of the Filipino Masses (Centre-right)
Mumbai Sunil Prabhu
2012
Shiv Sena
Seoul Park Won-soon
2011
New Politics Alliance for Democracy (Centre)
Shanghai Yang Xiong
2012
Communist Party of China
Taipei Ko Wen-je
2014
Independent (Centre)
Tokyo Yuriko Koike
2016
Liberal Democratic (Centre-right)
Africa
Cape Town Patricia de Lille
2011
Democratic Alliance (LI) (Centre)
Casablanca Abdelaziz El Omari
2015
Justice and Development (n/a)
Johannesburg Herman Mashaba
2016
Democratic Alliance (LI) (Centre-right)
Lagos Akinwunmi Ambode
20015
All Progressives Congress (SI) (Centre-left)
Nairobi Evans Kidero
2013
Orange Democratic Movement (Centre)

*International associations
Alliance of Democrats (AD) – centrist, moderate parties
Centrist Democrat International (CDI) – centre right and Christian democrat parties
International Democrat Union (IDU) – conservative parties
Liberal International (LI) – centrist and official liberal parties
Progressive Alliance (PA) and Socialist International (SI) – socialist and social democratic parties