Greater Manchester Combined Authority Mayoral Election - Poll suggests easy Labour win

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority covers Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan. Andy Burnham has been the Mayor since 2017 and is seeking re-election to a third term. 

In Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham looks set to cruise to a third term with around two-thirds of the vote. He is undoubtedly popular with his electorate and enjoys a net approval rating of +31 points - again, higher than most national politicians, even higher than Andy Street’s approval. 

The more interesting battle to watch in Greater Manchester could be for the (very distant) second place - with the Conservatives currently trailing Reform UK (Conservatives 9% to Reform’s 12%).

Andy Burnham is set to replicate his performance in the 2021 mayoral election, winning around two-thirds of the vote.

Mayoral Polling Graphs (2)

Strikingly those who voted Conservative in 2019 are more likely to back Andy Burnham than the Conservative Candidate Laura Evans. A third (33%) say they intend to back incumbent Burnham compared to just 27% who would vote for Evans.

The 2019 Conservative vote in Greater Manchester is extremely fragmented, with a three-way split between Burnham, Evans and the Reform candidate Dan Barker picking up 22% of this group. A further 12% of 2019 Conservatives would vote for Nick Buckley, who ran for Reform in 2021 and is now an independent candidate.

Burnham is popular across all age groups, set to win 68% of the vote among under-35s and 58% among over-65s. Nor is there a large difference by education. Of university graduates, 68% support Burnham only falling slightly to 60% among those without a degree. His appeal seems to cut across the typical divides of age and education.

In our Bury focus group conversation participants described Burnham as someone who stood up for the Greater Manchester region - particularly over the cancelling of HS2 - but they wanted to know more about what he would do next. On top of Andy Burnham’s strong approval rating in Greater Manchester, the focus group reaction in North East, East Midlands and West Midlands was even more positive, with people saying they wanted “their own Andy Burnham.” In Bury, participants strongly supported the idea of a locally and directly elected mayor speaking on behalf of local residents. 

With Andy Burnham, I've always felt that he really is quite passionate about the things that he stands for. He's been to my grandson, he's been to his school a couple of times and he is spoken with people and they just absolutely really rate him…I think people like the idea of having a mayor because he's got a voice and he is supposed to be speaking for the people but not sure that he actually gets a massive amount done

Melanie, Carer, Bury

I think his reaction to the cancellation of HS2 and the investments towards that and created public transport and connectivity between the north and the south of the UK is valid

Ahmed, Payroll Supervisor, Bury

As with the other combined authorities, voters in Greater Manchester want to see the mayor focus on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, regenerating high streets, improving public transport and protecting nature and the countryside over the next few years. In focus groups, these priorities came through strongly as well, though voters also acknowledged that there was much work to do - with Melanie, a carer saying: “Oh god, where do you start?” when asked what the Mayor should be focusing on. Crime was an important priority for participants with people particularly worried about crime in town centres. Transport (both roads and public transport) was also a recurring theme in the focus group discussion - from potholes and parking to buses. 

I think crime is definitely one of the top ones, especially hearing about the knife incident that happened in Bury Centre recently that was appalling. Thinking that you live this close to this, this could have been any of me or my mates or anything

Ahmed, Payroll Supervisor, Bury

Nowhere's been weeded. The main thing being, as you say, the potholes. It's just scruffy, but the outside of the council offices isn't - just quite laughable really

Charlotte, Midwife, Bury

It just doesn't seem like there's any investment here. Whereas I didn't feel that down south. Infrastructure, roads, rail, not HS2 type stuff, just the basics. It is not there I think

Jonathan, Construction Worker, Bury

I think the money would be better spent ploughing into electric vehicles and public transport and building on the public transport system, making that greener rather than charging us because unfortunately a lot of people don't have the funds to buy an electric car

Francis, Lifeguard, Bury

We get told X amount gets spent on the road but nothing has actually been done to the road other than the cycle lanes. So obviously they built cycle lanes, and has anyone going past seen a cyclist on there?

Imran, Accounts Assistant, Bury