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GREATER MANCHESTER: Andy Burnham wins third term

Andy Burnham has been re-elected as Greater Manchester mayor.

The Labour politician, who can now expect 11 years in power at the top of the city-region, collected 420,749 votes — or 63.4 percent of the ballot. The former MP for Leigh, who has been mayor since 2017, said ‘being elected to represent Greater Manchester for the third time means absolutely everything to me’.

He added in his acceptance speech: “I can honestly say I have never given anything less than my all to this job. I have tired to be there for all communities and everyone who lives here – and I promise to do so again. For centuries Greater Manchester has prided itself on the solidarity between its people. I have tried to be true to that.”

However, although Mr Burnham won comfortably as expected, he didn’t achieve the total domination of winning every single ward in Greater Manchester he managed in 2021, the last poll. It’s thought Mr Burnham won 214 wards out of 215, with Labour sources suggesting he only lost in Werneth, Oldham, where his party did not field a candidate in the local elections held on the same day.

Additionally, his vote share dropped by around four percent compared to 2021, with a different voting system. Like last time, Conservative Laura Evans was second with 68,949 votes – but her share halved to 10.39 percent.

Still, she said she was ‘very happy with the result’, telling the LDRS: “I came second, which is fine, I’d have liked to have come first of course. 

“I think there’s quite a meaningful vote there with regards to other candidates, Andy Burnham has not got as many votes as he did last time. I’m happy.”

Third place was Nick Buckley, an independent candidate,with 50,304 (7.58 percent). He did not turn up to the declaration, and tweeted less than an hour before results were revealed he was ‘sat in a pub trying to relax’.

Reform candidate Dan Barker came fourth, with 49,532 votes (7.46 percent), having defected from the Conservatives early in the race. Fifth was Hannah Spencer for the Greens with 45,905 votes (6.9 percent).

Although the party was third last time, despite sliding down the rankings this year they earned enough votes to retain their deposit – unlike last time.

“We are quite pleased,” she reflected. “We have grown our vote share a lot and we can see people are after change and hope in what we’re offering. We’re a credible option. We’re an alternative to the main two parties but we’re only three percentage points behind one of those main parties.”

In last place was Jake Austin, for the Liberal Democrats, who collected 28,195 votes (4.2 percent).

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