WHILE businessman Charlie Hoult was Northumberland’s choice, the Conservative candidate finished runner-up in the election.

The Humshaugh resident received most votes from across the county, however, Labour’s Jamie Driscoll was the more popular choice across Newcastle and North Tyneside.

Despite this, Mr Hoult still took the successful candidate to a second round of counting after receiving the second highest amount of votes at 45,494.

As set out in the poll cards, eligible voters were asked to vote for their first and second choice candidates.

If a candidate received at least 50 per cent of the votes, he would have been declared mayor in the first stage. However, none of the five candidates did and the candidates with the top two votes went through to the second round where the ballots supporting any of the bottom three candidates were checked to see if the top two were chosen as second choice.

This number was added to their first choice selections. Mr Hoult received 14,595 second round votes – 233 fewer than Mr Driscoll – meaning he was unable to overtake the frontrunner.

Independent candidate John McCabe won a lot of voters with the promise of keeping politics out of the equation, but he missed out on second spot by collecting 31,507 votes. He later said he felt he might have had a chance of becoming mayor on second preference votes if he had made the top two.

John Appleby, of Liberal Democrats, came in fourth place with a total of 23,768, with UKIP candidate Hugh Jackson receiving 20,131 crosses next to his name.

The combined authority was pleased with the turn-out of voters for the election, with many predicting the overall number to be in the teens.

A total of 32.33 per cent turned out across the three authorities, with a total of 27.12 per cent in Northumberland.