Latest Public Sector News

05.05.17

Conservatives and Labour take spoils in mayorals

The Conservatives and Labour were successful in today's mayoral elections, though Corbyn's party has lost significant ground in the local elections. 

Andy Burnham has now been elected as first GM metro mayor with a huge margin of 63% of the vote. 

Earlier in the day, Conservative Tim Bowles was elected as the first West of England CA mayor.

And the Tees Valley mayor will be Conservative Ben Houchen, who unexpectedly beat his rival Sue Jeffery by the slim margin of just over 2,000 votes.

In Liverpool, Labour’s Steve Rotherham comfortably won with 171,167 votes – more than 59% of the overall vote.

Cambridge and Peterborough and the West Midlands are still yet to declare, although the Conservatives are expected to win the election in Birmingham.  

Commenting on the mayoral elections, LGiU chief executive Jonathan Carr-West said: “Labour will now be pinning their hopes on the new combined authority areas that are electing metro mayors for first time, though the West Midlands looks desperately close and the Conservatives have already won the West of England.”

But significant questions will be raised about the mandate metro mayors will have over their local authorities, as turnout for the election has been poor – Liverpool’s Rotherham winning on a turnout of only 26%.

“The big question mark hanging over the mayoral elections has been whether turnout will big enough to give the new mayors the mandate and legitimacy they need to hit the ground running and to act as an effective political counterweight to Whitehall,” Carr-West argued.

“At around 30%, it’s broadly in line with turn out for the county council elections that happened yesterday and with local elections generally.”

The figure is also, Carr-West points out, higher than the incredibly low-turnout for the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

“The new metro mayors will be local government leaders working with other leaders, often heading cabinets of council leaders: this level of turnout will mean they can do this with the same level of mandate as the rest of local government,” the LGiU chief executive added.

“Most incoming mayors will be privately pleased with this level of turnout, while hoping to raise their profile in office and improve significantly upon it next time they go to the polls.”

 Labour ‘all but wiped out’ in locals

And in the local elections, Labour has been faring incredibly poorly, losing 163 councillors as the Conservatives strengthened their hold on the counties.

UKIP has also had a diabolical election, losing almost all of its seats. In Lincolnshire, where in 2013 the party were the official opposition, the party lost all 13 of the seats it previously held.

“Labour look like they will be all but wiped out in the counties. UKIP already have been,” Carr-West stated. “The Conservatives now have a comprehensive grip on shire England, taking Derbyshire from Labour and taking majority control of counties such as Northumberland, Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.”

Top Image: Peter Byrne PA wire

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