WHATEVER our views on the need for having a GM Elected Mayor — on May 4 we all have the chance to select whom we feel would make the best elected Mayor for our area?
The choice should be reasonably straightforward, but we live in interesting and politically uncertain times — with a shock win by the Conservatives at the 2015 General Election (including of course in Bolton West), BREXIT and the recent Copeland by-election where Labour lost a seat to the Conservatives they had held since 1931.
Many Labour voters in the North-West have, since the election of Jeremy Corbyn, given up on their unwavering support for the Party, preferring to vote for whom they most consider better represents their interests and astonishingly in a recent poll, those considered as 'working class' gave the Conservatives a massive lead for the first time of 39% to Labour's 20%.
So it is the Conservatives that are seen as the 'Workers Party', which undermines their GM Elected Mayoral candidate Andy Burnham's chances of winning-especially with voters having a second choice on the ballot paper.
Labour's arrogance of power across Greater Manchester's councils is also now a threat to Mr Burnham's chances as electors are likely to take out their vengeance towards Labour on election day, either by voting for other parties (including the Conservatives) or by just abstaining.
What was a presumed 'shoe in' for the Mayor is now uncertain, especially with the Conservatives (the main threat to Mr. Burnham) having such an electable candidate in Sean Anstee — who unlike Mr Burnham was born, educated, worked and lived all his life in the city.
Coming from a 'humble' background and achieving success by sheer hard work he became Leader of Greater Manchester's only Conservative controlled council which has put the rest of the other nine Labour controlled council's to shame.
So against a 'Westminster 'bubble' politician Conservative Sean Anstee should now be considered as a serious candidate to be our Elected Mayor.