“At the national level, I would probably think twice about it”: what do voters in the key target city care about? | Political news


If Sir Keir Starmer has an electoral mountain to climb to become prime minister in the next general election, Bury is at the foot of that fight.

Labor dominates, by a narrow majority, the local council, but the party lost the parliamentary constituencies of Bury North and Bury South in 2019 as Boris Johnson’s Tories toppled the party in part of its former strongholds.

His electoral complexion changed again when Bury South MP Christian Wakeford defected from the Conservatives to the Labor Party earlier this year.

Politics Hub: Track local election results as they come in

The stakes are high this time: losing votes from the 2018 local elections and some would say Sir Keir has fallen at the first hurdle in the race for Downing Street; make gains, and the prospect of restoring the two parliamentary seats in the next general election will seem within reach.

Among voters (who were able to vote for multiple candidates) on the move on local election day, it was clear that national issues were often front and center.

Jennifer Kinloch, 78 – voted Labor

Harry Kinloch and Jennifer Kinloch

We have always voted Labour, it is the tradition. I can’t say I’m thrilled with them at the moment, but there’s no way I’m voting Conservative, especially Boris Johnson.

I know it’s supposed to be about local issues, but we’re just sick to death with him and the government he leads.

It wouldn’t have happened under Theresa May, it wouldn’t have happened under David Cameron, so the sooner he leaves the better.

I just think he’s the laughingstock of the whole country.

Harry Kinloch, 82 – voted Labor

I think the only chance we have of bringing this country back to some kind of standard and where it might be is to try to have a decent leader.

I think if people vote for a clown, they get a clown. I think Keir Starmer is the right person to push us through this and get us to where we were years ago.

Colin Hunter, 62 – Elected Conservative

Bury voter Colin Hunter
Colin Hunter says council elections ‘have to do with local issues’

Municipal elections are about local issues: at the national level, I would probably think twice.

With Boris as the figurehead, I should probably think again.

But this time it’s local only and I’m not happy with the introduction of the Clean Air Zone and the roads are an absolute disgrace. I probably live on one of the worst and that’s where I want to see change.

If it were a general election, I would have a serious problem voting Conservative with the national issues of the cost of living crisis, partygate and the war in Ukraine on my mind.

Krysia Milejski, 23 – Elected Labor/Green Party

Krysia Milejski, constituent of Bury 5/5/22

I’m a young queer person who just graduated from college and the Conservatives don’t really seem interested in standing up for trans rights or the rights of many minority groups.

And that’s very off-putting as a youngster because you don’t just want financial stability for your country. You also want social stability, and you can’t help but feel a little ostracized and like they don’t care.

So I prefer to vote for groups that I think you will take care of the community as well as the financial situation of the country.

I think partygate upset a lot of people, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people thought about it today when they voted.

Stephen Turner, 68 – Mixed vote

My main concern is local issues only – whatever was in the manifesto for local issues, that’s what I chose.

If we were to vote for a new Prime Minister, I might vote differently and not the Conservatives.

We all know what is happening nationally, but in this case I have to look at who is dealing with local issues.

David Royal, 76 – Voted green

David Royal, Elector of Bury 5/5/22

I don’t think either of the two major parties, nationally, is addressing the issues of this country.

I’m worried about potholes but they’re neither here nor there for what’s going on.

We have a war in Ukraine that I’m not happy with the way it’s been handled, I’m not happy with the state of the national health service, I’m not happy with COVID.

These are national issues for me and that’s why I voted Green because I don’t think either of the two major parties is currently ready to address the major issues.

I think most people will vote with local issues in mind today. But personally, I have to send a message to these two major parties.

If today was a general election, it would also have turned green today and that shows how frustrated I am.

Johnson is telling lies, I can’t trust him right now and he’s unreliable. Starmer isn’t assertive enough to pin him down, so neither of these two leaders makes me happy.

Sharon, 49 – Elected Conservative

Bury Elector Sharon

I have never voted Labor in my life and that was not going to change this time. The green belt issue in Bury and the lack of support for Bury Football Club from Labor was very important to me, which is why I voted Conservative.

I’m actually a huge Boris fan, and I don’t think he’s the only one who’s broken the rules during the pandemic, they’re all pissing in the same pot. This does not prevent me from not wanting to vote Conservative.

I worry that people think too much about partygate when they go to vote and don’t actually look at its policies and what the local Tories are doing.

Sandra Gill – Conservative Elect

Bury voters Donald Gill and Sandra Gill
Donald Gill and Sandra Gill

I think Boris is a good guy, even though he’s been beaten and trampled on, I like him, his views and what he’s done.

The party that’s going on right now has done its best given the circumstances, right now the other parties are deliberately trying to find some dirt to get him out and that’s petty and I don’t think Boris is petty so I support him.

I think a lot of the party stuff was very petty. He worked with these people, he was in an office with them every day and he was at a party with these same people and that is absolutely petty.

I’m afraid people won’t vote Conservative today because of that. I hope most people think like me, there’s so much else going on in the world and it’s petty.

Donald Gill – Conservative Elect

Even on local issues, the Conservatives asked us for our opinion. They sent us a form to fill out about potholes, police, dirty streets asking for our opinion and when they are going to fix it.

Labor didn’t send anything, we don’t know what they’re going to do – it really influenced us.

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