Metro mayor elections: Burnham landslide in Greater Manchester, Conservatives grab shock win in Tees Valley
ELECTIONS for the first metro mayors have produced a landslide win for Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester, a Labour victory in Liverpool and a surprise victory for the Conservatives in Tees Valley.
Earlier, Conservative Tom Bowles became England’s first metro mayor when he won a run-off against Labour’s Lesley Ann Mansell in the West of England. Run-offs are triggered when neither candidate reaches the 50 per cent threshold for outright victory. Second choice votes are then counted from the elimnated candidates.
Burnham did not need a second round, easily winning the Greater Manchester contest with 63.4 per cent of the vote. Conservative Sean Anstee was second on 22.1 per cent, with Lib Dem candidate Jane Brophy. UKIP found themselves behind the English Democrats, collecting 1.9 per cent of the vote.
Conservative Ben Houchen produced a surprise win in Tees Valley, beating favourite Sue Jeffrey of Labour in a run-off. He will now head the Tees Valley Combined Authority covering Darlington, Hartlepool, Redcar & Cleveland, Middlesbrough and Stockton councils.
Steve Rotherham of Labour won the Liverpool City-Region election. The city’s former Lord Mayor, who was Liverpool Walton MP prior to the dissolution of parliament, took 59 per cent of the vote. The Liverpool City-Region comprises Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral and Halton in Cheshire.
In the West Midlands, Conservative Andy Street took the mayoralty after an extremely close run-off against Labour's Sion Simon. Street took a total of 238,628 first and second choice votes, edging out Simon's 234,862.
The contest Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has also gone to a run-off, with the winner yet to be declared.
Some have raised concerns about the low turnout for the elections.
On Twitter, the Electoral Reform Society said the rolling average turnout was just 26 per cent, adding "nearly three-quarters of people have abstained".