Even when embedded in a broader political system that is firmly parliamentary, direct election of an executive matters.
From UK Polling Report’s summary of a recent poll in the London mayoral race:
57% of Londoners say they like Boris Johnson, compared to just 36% who say they like the Conservative party – meaning Boris is outperforming his party by 21 points.
Some folks identify results like this as one major aspect of the phenomenon of “presidentializaton”–where separate election of an executive allows for the building of electoral constituencies that are broader than (or different from) that of the executive candidate’s party.
The election is on 3 May. The electoral formula is the supplementary vote, which is a form of “instant runoff”, but not a good form. Unlike the alternative vote, all but the top two candidates, based on first preference vote, are eliminated. Second preferences are then redistributed–if no candidate had a majority of first preferences–and the winner is the candidate with the most votes after redistribution.