Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram comfortable winners for third terms

Andy Burnham re-elected

Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram were both re-elected comfortably as Metro Mayors for their third terms, though on lower turnouts.

A breakdown of the results is likely to reveal that Burnham won 214 out of 215 council wards in Greater Manchester, bar one, Oldham Werneth, where Labour failed to field a candidate due to a last minute defection. His team were pleased with the result it was ‘a pretty bloody remarkable result’ to secure 63% of the vote for a third term.

In his acceptance speech Burnham reiterated his commitment to the ‘new politics’ of place before party, and said: “For centuries, Greater Manchester has prided itself on the solidarity between its people, I have tried to be true to that tradition, rejecting the politics of division, and culture wars. And that will always remain my approach.

“I know people who usually support other parties have lent me their support again in this election. In return, I will always respect that.

“And I will continue to adopt a place first rather than party first approach, which is the foundation of Greater Manchester’s success.

“This is the new politics, we are pioneering. And this result is an endorsement and emphatic endorsement of the change we are bringing, I will take it as an instruction to complete the building of a public transport system that befits a city region of our stature. And I will do it within this new mayoral term, uniting bike, bus, tram and train in a single integrated system.”

He also said: “Britain needs a new government and a fresh start.”

He also quoted one of his favourite bands, New Order, when he said: “We all need to reconnect power with the promotion of the common good, rather than what we have seen in recent times the association of power with corruption and lies.”

He ended in a strident note: “I am ready to fight harder than I’ve ever fought for anything before for a Greater Manchester where people can live free from the fear of debt, hunger and eviction, and where everyone is set up to be a part of the growing success story.”

Burnham was joined at the declaration by Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser to the Mayor and Kate Green, his appointed deputy Mayor, who sat with his family in the front rows of the main Exchange Theatre auditorium at The Manchester Central Convention Centre, where Burnham had shared a stage with Tory Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove last year.

Greater Manchester turnout was 32%, lower than 2017.

The results were declared by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s chief executive Eamonn Boylan, his last before his retirement later this year.

Burnham’s manifesto majored on the radical push for a technical education pathway for schools – the MBacc – and expanding the Bee Network to deliver a London-style transport system.

He also pledged to turn Job Centres into Wellness Centres in order to help people in work, training and volunteering in a more friendly and nurturing environment.

Greater Manchester candidates at the declaration

Rotheram too said he will work with his Greater Manchester counterpart in building a London-style transport system across the Liverpool City Region.

Early analysis of Rotheram’s 67% vote share, albeit on just 23% turnout, suggests that Rotheram won in every ward in the Liverpool City Region.

In his acceptance speech Rotheram said his strong mandate was a cry from the North that “enough is enough”, and made a pitch for further devolution under a future Labour government.

He said: “The road to Downing Street runs through transformative Labour administrations in local and regional government.

“With Labour in Westminster, we will get to see what real devolution is like, not the limited decentralisation we are seeing now.”

He accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of “squatting in Downing Street” and called for a General Election. 

The two Mayors have co-authored a  book Head North: A Rallying Cry for a More Equal Britain – which looks at Northern voices and culture, the people, politics and events that have shaped both them and the North, and how they propose to spread political and economic power throughout the UK.


The Liverpool City Region breakdown was as follows:

  • Steve Rotheram, Labour – 183,932
  • Jade Marsden, Conservative – 27,708
  • Tom Crone, Green – 26,417
  • Rob McAllister-Bell, Liberal Democrat – 21,366
  • Ian Smith, Independent – 11,032

The Greater Manchester Mayoral breakdown was as follows:

  • Andy Burnham, Labour – 420,749
  • Dan Barker, Reform – 49, 532
  • Nick Buckley, Independent – 50,304
  • Laura Evans, Conservative – 68,946
  • Hannah Spencer, Green – 45,905
  • Jake Austin, Liberal Democrat – 28,195

The news capped a deeply disappointing 24 hours for the Conservative Party, which suffered huge losses in council elections across the country and a humiliating defeat in the Blackpool South by-election.

The North West region had the highest number of local elections in England yesterday with 459 council seats at stake.

Labour’s Paul Dennett was re-elected as city Mayor of Salford on a 26% turnout but with a 20,000 majority over his nearest rival.

Labour also won Hyndburn council in East Lancashire and the bellweather town of Warrington.

The Liberal Democrats remain the largest party in Stockport, though they fell short of securing an overall majority. The Conservatives failed to win any seats back in a borough where they have two MPs.

Labour’s vote dropped in wards with a large number of Muslim voters, revealing that the Israel-Gaza war is having an impact.

In Oldham, Labour are no longer the largest party, and lost seats to Independent candidates. Three losses were to candidates of Asian heritage where the war in Gaza was an issue, three others were to independent candidates from hyper local parties.

With 27 seats, Labour remains the largest party and group leader Arooj Shah will seek to form a minority administration and retain her place in the Greater Manchester cabinet.

The only significant disappointment for Labour in Manchester City Council’s election was the defeat of its deputy leader Luthfur Rahman to a candidate in Longsight ward from George Galloway’s Workers Party.