Analysis of last month's metro mayoral results offers a valuable clueby Andrew Carter / June 7, 2017 / Leave a comment
If the last year or two have taught us one thing, it’s that predicting the results of an election is not easy. In the last week, polls showing anything from a 1-point to a 16-point Conservative lead have meant it’s hard to know just how much the UK’s electoral map will change.
But if you cast your mind back just a little, you might remember that many people around the country have already been to the polls once this year, and—despite major events in-between—those results could yet be an indicator of what might happen come Thursday.
And for those of us interested in cities and the future of how they are governed, there were two particularly interesting outcomes that day: firstly, the Conservatives won four of the six metro mayor contests that took place in English city regions; and secondly, Ukip lost a lot of their voters to the Conservatives.
Unlike the 2015 General Election campaign when George Osborne’s “devolution revolution” was in full swing, this time the need for devolution has not made headlines, giving way instead to understandably bigger pressures such as Brexit, national security and a growing crisis in health and social care. Yet, those four new blue metro mayors present an interesting political opportunity for Theresa May, not to mention a challenge for Jeremy Corbyn.
Once criticised for giving away power to Labour, Osborne’s pet project to introduce metro mayors to city regions has instead turned major urban conurbations blue.