‘At a national level, I’d probably think twice’: What is on the minds of voters in key target town? | Politics News


If Sir Keir Starmer has an electoral mountain to climb to become prime minister at the next general election, Bury is in the foothills of that struggle.

Labour holds sway, by a narrow majority, on the local council but the party lost both Bury North and Bury South parliamentary constituencies in 2019 as Boris Johnson’s Tories unseated the party in a swathe of its former strongholds.

Its electoral complexion changed again when the Bury South MP Christian Wakeford defected from the Tories to Labour earlier this year.

Politics Hub: Follow the local election results as they come in

The stakes are high this time: lose vote share compared with 2018’s local election and some will say Sir Keir has fallen at the first hurdle in the race for Downing Street; make gains, and the prospect of restoring both parliamentary seats at the next general election will seem within his grasp.

Among voters (who were able to vote for multiple candidates) out and about on the day of the local elections – it was clear that national issues were often to the fore.

Jennifer Kinloch, 78 – Voted Labour

Harry Kinloch and Jennifer Kinloch
Harry Kinloch and Jennifer Kinloch

We’ve always voted Labour, it’s tradition. I can’t say I’m thrilled about them at the moment, but there’s no way I’d vote Conservative, especially Boris Johnson.

I know it’s supposed to be about local issues, but we’re just absolutely sick to death with him and the government that he leads.

It wouldn’t have happened under Theresa May, it wouldn’t have happened under David Cameron, so the sooner he goes, the better.

I just think he makes a laughing stock of the whole country.

Harry Kinloch, 82 – Voted Labour

I think the only chance we’ve got to get this country back to some sort of norm and where it could be, is to try and get a decent leader.

I think if people vote in a clown, they get a clown. I think Keir Starmer is the right person to push us through it and get us to where we were years ago.

Colin Hunter, 62 – Voted Conservative

Bury voter Colin Hunter
Colin Hunter says council elections ‘are to do with local issues’

The council elections are to do with local issues: at a national level, I’d probably think twice.

With Boris being the figurehead, I’d probably have to think again.

But this time it is solely local and I’m unhappy with the introduction of the Clean Air Zone and the roads are an absolute disgrace. I probably live on one of the worst and that’s where I want to see change.

If it was a general election I’d have a serious issue in voting Conservative with the national issues of the cost of living crisis, partygate and the war in Ukraine in the back of my mind.

Krysia Milejski, 23 – Voted Labour/Green party

Krysia Milejski, Bury voter 5/5/22

I’m a young queer person who’s just finished their studies and Conservatives don’t really seem to be that interested in looking after the rights of trans people or the rights of a lot of minority groups.

And that’s very offputting as a young person because you don’t just want financial stability from your country. You also want social stability, and you can’t help but just feel a bit ostracised and like they don’t care.

So I’d rather vote for groups that I feel like, you’re going to take care of the community as well as the financial state of the country.

I think partygate upset a lot of people, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people were thinking about that today when they voted.

Stephen Turner, 68 – Mixed vote

My main concern is just local issues – whatever was in the manifesto for local issues that’s what I went with.

If we were voting for a new prime minister then I’d maybe vote differently and not Conservatives.

We all know what’s going on nationally, but in this instance I have to look at who’s dealing with the local issues.

David Royal, 76 – Voted Green

David Royal, Bury voter 5/5/22

I don’t think either of the two major parties, nationally, are addressing the issues of this country.

I am worried about potholes but they’re neither here nor there to what’s going on.

We’ve got a war in Ukraine which I’m not happy with the way it’s been handled, I’m not happy with the national health service situation, I’m not happy with COVID.

Those are national issues for me and that’s why I voted Greens because I think neither of the two main parties at the moment are prepared to address the main issues.

I think most people will vote with local issues on their mind today. But personally, I need to give a message to those two major parties.

If today was a general election it would have gone Green today too and that just shows how frustrated I am.

Johnson tells lies, I can’t trust him at the moment and he’s not reliable. Starmer is not assertive enough to pin him down so neither of these two leaders make me happy.

Sharon, 49 – Voted Conservative

Bury voter Sharon

I’ve never voted Labour in my life and it wasn’t going to change this time. The greenbelt issue in Bury and the lack of support for Bury Football Club from Labour were very high on the agenda for me so that’s why I voted Conservative.

I’m actually a massive Boris fan, and I don’t think he’s the only one who’s broken rules during the pandemic, they all pee in the same pot. It doesn’t stop me from not wanting to vote Conservatives.

I’m worried people will think about partygate too much when they go out to vote and not actually look at his policies and what the local Conservatives are doing.

Sandra Gill – Voted Conservative

Bury voters Donald Gill and Sandra Gill
Donald Gill and Sandra Gill

I think Boris is a good guy, even though he’s been battered and stamped on, I like him and his views and what he’s done.

The party that’s in at the moment has done the best it can considering the circumstances, at the moment the other parties are purposefully trying to find dirt to get him out and it’s petty and I don’t think Boris is petty so I stand by him.

I think a lot of the party stuff was very petty. He worked with those people, he was in an office with them every single day and he was in a party with those same people and it’s absolutely petty.

I’m worried that people won’t vote for Conservatives today because of that. I’m hoping most people think like I do, there’s so much else going on in the world and this is petty.

Donald Gill – Voted Conservative

Even on local issues, the Conservatives asked for our opinion. They sent us a form out to fill about the potholes, about the police, about the dirty streets asking for our opinion and when they’re going to get it sorted out.

Labour have sent nothing, we don’t know what they’re going to do – that swayed it for us really.


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