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Tight race for mayor of West Midlands could have national significance – that’s why | UK News

Of the hundreds of elections to be held on May 6, few could be more important than the West Midlands mayoral race.

Probably a close two-way fight between outgoing Tory Andy Street and his Labor challenger Liam Byrne, it’s a race that could have national significance.

Next month’s elections will be the first since Sir Keir Starmer became a Labor leader last year, and pressure is being put on him to show progress has been made since the party’s beating in the 2019 general election.

the West Midlands is a key battleground.

Liam Byrne
Labor candidate Liam Byrne

In 2019, 14 of the House of Commons seats in the region – the UK’s largest urban area outside London with a population of almost three million – were won by Labor.

The other 14 voted Conservative. Almost 1.2 million votes were cast, but less than 3,000 separated the two parties.

As in other parts of England, Boris Johnson knocked out pieces of Labor’s ‘red wall’ in the West Midlands.

Six Labor seats in Birmingham and the surrounding area, some of which had been red for decades, turned conservative blue.

Now Sir Keir has to prove he’s the man to win them back.

“I think most people in the Labor movement know that the West Midlands race is probably the most important race this year that Labor is supporting,” party candidate Liam Byrne told Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

“The loss we had in December 2019 was really significant and a lot of people underestimated the depth of that loss.”

Despite this, he is confident.

Andy Street
Outgoing Conservative candidate Andy Street

Asked by Ridge if he expected a comfortable victory, he was clear, “Yes. We found the knocking on the door to go very well. We will do well.”

His election message is about one thing: “The number one mile problem is …

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This notice was published: 2021-04-17 23:07:00