For three metro mayors, it’s going to be all about the economy

Black circles show relative populations of each metro mayor city region; turnout and party of winner shown by coloured circle (added when result available)

  New metro mayor Turnout Population
West Midlands Andy Street, Conservative  26.3% 2.83m
Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Labour  28.6% 2.76m
Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram, Labour  25.9% 1.52m
West of England Tim Bowles, Conservative  29.3% 909,000
Peterborough and Cambridgeshire James Palmer,  Conservative  32.9% 841,000
Tees Valley Ben Houchen, Conservative  21% 667,000

Average turnout adjusted by population: 27%

The results are in from the six metro mayor votes held yesterday, with results and turnout mapped above. But as noted in yesterday’s post and map, the six city regions have a combined population of 9.53m compared with Greater London’s 8.67m, with their combined economies producing just 57% of the capital’s output.

Even leaving aside London’s dominance, the Office for National Statistics data on the six areas released in March showed that the six new metro mayors will preside over widely varying areas economically. West of England (just won by Tim Bowles for the Conservatives) and Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are in good shape – both have lots of well-qualified people, low unemployment and high earnings.

Meanwhile, the West Midlands has twice the unemployment of the West of England (7.7% vs 3.6%); 44.7% of Liverpool City Region’s localities are in the most-deprived fifth, compared with just  11.5% of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire; and Tees Valley’s population has grown just 0.7% over the last four years, compared with 4.8% in West of England.

Greater Manchester has been working as a city region for many years and on several measures is a bit ahead of the others in the Midlands and the north; its new mayor also has a wider range of powers than the rest, including health and social care, which deserve a lot of attention. But the new metro mayors of the West Midlands, Liverpool City Region and Tees Valley are going to have to focus primarily on turning around their underperforming economies.

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