The people of Manchester decided back in 2012 that they didn’t want a directly elected Mayor. Today we found out that they will be getting one anyway. The more elections, the better, as far as we bookies are concerned, so Ladbrokes have issued some odds on who will become the first.
Our front runners are mostly, but not exclusively, local Labour politicians:
- Sir Richard Leese – Leader of Manchester City Council since 1996
- Tony Lloyd – former MP for Manchester Central, now Greater Manchester Police & Crime Commissioner
- Jonathan Reynolds – MP for Stalybridge & Hyde
- Sir Howard Bernstein – Chairman of Manchester City Council
- Graham Stringer – MP for Blackley & Broughton
- Tom Bloxham – Property developer and Chancellor of Manchester University
- Jim McMahon – Leader of Oldham Council
Given the current anti-politics mood of the nation, it’s entirely possible that a non-Labour candidate could win. Tom Bloxham is someone that I could see having a chance; he has a very similar profile to George Ferguson, who was elected Mayor of Bristol as an Independent in 2012. John Bickley did very well to get close to winning in the Heywood & Middleton by-election for UKIP – I’m not sure if they have a more high profile local candidate who could take a run at this. Bez at 33/1 isn’t a totally ridiculous suggestion. He has been doing some proper campaigning in a bid to get elected as the MP for Salford & Eccles next year; I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided to give this a go as well
If any readers have good suggestions for any other candidates, post them here and we’ll add the best ones to our betting.