The campaign for an elected mayor in Oxford failed in Thursday's referendum, despite almost 15,000 people voting for a change to the way the city council is run.

Eight towns across the UK have already voted in favour of an elected mayor, but Oxford residents showed they were not yet ready to replace the leader and executive system introduced last year.

Before Labour's victory was confirmed, it was announced that the referendum on the question of whether Oxford should have an elected mayor had been won by the no voters.

There were 18,690 no voters, with 14,692 voting yes for a change to the way the current system is run.

Under current legislation, there can not be another mayoral referendum for another five years, but county councillor John Power, part of the Demox campaign for an elected mayor, said there should be another referendum on the issue in 12 months' time.

Cllr Power said: "Almost 15,000 people have voted for change, and I think that clearly shows that a large number of people are not happy with the way the city council is run. That should be enough to merit another referendum in a year's time."

While the local election votes were being counted in the main hall, the referendum votes were counted separately in the Assembly Room.

In the first referendum on an Oxford issue in the city's history, voters were asked: "Are you in favour of the proposal for Oxford City Council to be run in a new way, which includes a mayor who will be elected by voters, to be in charge of the council services and to lead Oxford City Council and the community which it serves?"

Stan Taylor, a former Labour leader of the council, who campaigned for an elected mayor, said he was disappointed there had not been a majority of yes votes in the referendum. He said: "I think the results show that there is a significant body of support for an elected mayor and we will continue to campaign for that."

Mr Taylor had the consolation of getting back onto the city council for Labour in Cowley Marsh ward.

He said: "I don't expect to be on the executive board but I look forward to being part of the new administration."

Roger Jenking, who led campaigners calling for a no vote, said: "I campaigned for a no vote, not because I am defending the system, but because I think the alternative would be even worse, with too much power concentrated in one man's hands."