D-Day for mayoral hopefuls as East Midlanders go to the polls

The residents of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire will today (May 2) be given the chance to vote for the East Midlands’ first directly-elected mayor.

Polling station will open to decide who will win the race to be in charge of a £4bn investment into the future of the East Midlands.

The £4bn investment became viable following the government’s decision to decentralise some of its powers, transferring them to the mayor and the combined county authority through a devolution agreement reached in 2022.

There are six candidates standing for election to be East Midlands Mayor today. They are:

– Frank Adlington-Stringer, Green Party

– Ben Bradley, Conservative

– Alan Graves, Reform UK

– Matt Relf, Independent

– Helen Tamblyn-Saville, Liberal Democrats

– Claire Ward, Labour

An opinion poll published earlier this week showed that the Labour candidate, Claire Ward, had opened up a commanding lead in the campaign.

The poll, by More in Common, on voting intention for Thursday’s crunch vote, shows Ward – on 41% – well ahead of Conservative candidate, councillor Ben Bradley MP who is 13 points behind on 28%.

Alan Graves, the Reform candidate, is third on 14%, while Frank Adlington-Stringer is polling at 9%. Bringing up the rear are independent candidate Matt Relf and Liberal Democrat Helen Tamblyn-Saville – both on 4%.

The opinion poll covers the dates 19-24 April. Some 2,029 people were asked for their voting intention.

The mayor will lead the new East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA).

Mark Rogers, the interim chief executive of the EMCCA, said: “It’s absolutely vital that people across all of the East Midlands’ businesses and communities go to the polls on 2 May. This is their region, their mayor and their vote – and it’s going to have a major impact on their future.

“For people across Derbyshire, Derby, Nottinghamshire and Nottingham, this is a genuinely historic moment. For the first time, they will have regional control so that decisions about major issues can be taken in a way that suits regional needs rather than a one-size-fits-all national policy.

“By voting for a mayor, they will also have an elected figurehead who can speak up for the East Midlands nationally, and be at the top table to help secure a fair share of funding in the future.”