2021 Greater Manchester mayoral election

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Andy Burnham2.jpg
Laura evans manchester (cropped).jpg
Candidate Andy Burnham Laura Evans
Party Labour Conservative
Popular vote 473,024 137,753
Percentage 67.3% 19.6%

2021 Manchester Mayoral Election Results Map.png
Results of the 2021 Greater Manchester mayoral election by borough

Mayor before election

Andy Burnham

Elected Mayor

Andy Burnham

The 2021 Greater Manchester mayoral election was held on 6 May 2021 to elect the mayor of Greater Manchester. This election, alongside other local and mayoral elections across England and Wales, was originally scheduled to take place on 7 May 2020, but was delayed by the UK Government on 13 March 2020, due to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.[1][2] The election took place on the same day as council elections within the city-region, including the election for the mayor of Salford, as well as elections across England and Wales. It was the second election to the position of mayor. It used the supplementary vote as its electoral system.


The mayor of Greater Manchester serves as the directly elected leader of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. The mayor has power over investment directly to the combined authority from the government of £30 million a year for 30 years from 2017. The mayor also incorporates the Police and Crime Commissioner role of the Greater Manchester Police into the post. In addition to these, the mayor has authority over strategic housing planning, transport, adult education and skills, social care and others.[3][4][5]

The first election for the role was held in 2017, Labour candidate Andy Burnham won with 63% of the vote in the first round.[6]

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the United Kingdom the government announced on the 13 March 2020 that it would postpone the mayoral election, along with all other scheduled local government elections across the UK, for one year.[7][8] The Coronavirus Act 2020 received royal assent 12 days later on the 25 March 2020 giving legal effect to the government's announcement. This was the first such postponement of elections since the foot-and-mouth outbreak caused a one-month delay of the 2001 local elections.[9]

Events prior to the election

In August, Burnham and the Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotherham pushed the government to pay workers asked to self-isolate by the contact tracing system during the COVID-19 pandemic,[10] Burnham had also used the Mayors and Combined Authority resources to run a local contact tracing system where the national system had deficits.[11] As the pandemic entered a period of increase in the Autumn the British government created a three tiered system for what local social and economic restrictions would be implemented. Greater Manchester was initially placed at tier 2 restrictions, however the government went into talks with the Mayor and the council leaders to put Greater Manchester into tier 3 restrictions. Burnham cited inadequate financial support for businesses and workers in the city-region as he wanted 80% furlough support of employee wages, the same as the first wave response.[12] He had also stated he preferred a short, nation-wide lockdown known as a "circuit breaker".[13][14] Following these negotiations, Burnham was angered by the government's implementation of stronger financial support in London for their tier 2 restrictions.[15] Burnham's role in the negotiations led to him being described by various media sources as "King of the North", due to him using his position to not just fight for Greater Manchester but the wider North of England.[16][17][18][19][20] Polling company YouGov asked people in Britain why they believed Burnham was negotiating- similar levels believed it was "party politics" and "the interests of Manchester", though the latter was more popular nationally and more significant in the North.[21]

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) is a cooperative agreement between the mayor and the leaders of the ten councils on the use of land in Greater Manchester, such as housing development and use of the Green belt. The final draft was prepared for late 2020; however, there were fears that the borough of Stockport may reject the GMSF, prompting the mayor and other council leaders to warn politicians in opposition parties that rejecting the plan could lead to a greater loss of Green belt.[22] The draft was published in October 2020 and signed by council leaders at the end of the month,[23] anticipating a public consultation starting in December.[24] However, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council councillors voted against signing the GMSF, leading to the other nine boroughs and the Greater Manchester Mayor to create the "Places for Everyone" plan, essentially the spatial framework plan for their boroughs.[25]

In late-2020 it was revealed that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had failed to record 80,000 crimes in a year and was placed "advanced phase" of monitoring by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services. Mayor Burnham, who also has the role of police and crime commissioner, faced political pressure on this subject.[26] Burnham responded by initiating a new "named officer" scheme to improve police accountability in the city .[27][28] In later-January Burnham had stated that GMP had deliberately withheld information from his office, though he had not specified what information at the time.[29]

Electoral system

The election used a supplementary vote system, in which voters expressed a first and a second preference for candidates.[6]

This means that the winning candidate has the support of a majority of voters who expressed a preference among the top two.[30]

All registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) living in Greater Manchester aged 18 or over on 6 May 2021 were entitled to vote in the mayoral election. Those who were temporarily away from Greater Manchester (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) were also entitled to vote. The deadline to register to vote in the election was announced nearer the election.


Conservative Party

Laura Evans, a former Trafford councillor and parliamentary candidate, was selected as the Conservative candidate in February 2020.[31]

Green Party

Melanie Horrocks was selected as the Green Party candidate in 2019; she was the party's Manchester Central candidate in the 2019 General Election.[32]

Labour Party

Andy Burnham, the incumbent mayor and former shadow home secretary, announced his intention to seek re-election as mayor of Greater Manchester for the Labour Party in January 2020.[33]

Liberal Democrats

Simon Lepori is a former healthcare worker[34] who has previously stood in council elections in Trafford in 2016, 2018 and 2019, and was the party's candidate in the 2019 general election for the Wythenshawe & Sale East constituency. He was announced as the Liberal Democrats candidate on 19 January 2021.

Reform UK

Nick Buckley was announced as the Reform UK candidate on 12 March 2021.[35]

Other candidates

Individuals not standing

Andy Kelly, councillor and leader of the Liberal Democrats group in Rochdale, was confirmed as the Liberal Democrats' candidate in August 2019 following a vote by members in Greater Manchester.[33] However, on 11 August 2020 Kelly stood down, stating that the delay in the election for a year has impacted his employment.[39]

Michael Elston intended to run as an independent candidate, but ultimately could not do so because he filed defective paperwork.[40] He intended to run on a platform centred on reforming civil penalties and justice in the courts.[41] He had previously stood for election in Manchester City Council's Chorlton ward in 2018 and 2019.


The incumbent mayor Andy Burnham pledged to take the bus services of Greater Manchester into public control, establish an integrated ticket system for all buses and Metrolink trams, make the city-region carbon neutral by 2038 and build 30,000 social homes over the next decade.[33] The BBC has noted that should the metro mayor take the buses back into public control it would be the first place outside of London to do so.[42] In a February interview, Burnham discussed having a "Good Landlord Charter", in which landlords who sign up will have properties of good health and safety standard and they do not utilise 'no fault evictions'.[28]

Laura Evans is critical of Burnham's plans to build on sparser parts of the city-region and the implementation of a Clean Air Zone.[43]

Simon Lepori, the Liberal Democrat candidate, sees his primary policies as integrating public transport across the city, the integration of health and social care and reducing the cost of housing.[44]

Results and follow up statistics

Overall Result

The incumbent mayor Andy Burnham retained his position within the first round, increasing his majority from the 2017 election by 10.2 percentage points with a swing from the Conservatives to Labour of 3.5 percentage points.

Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 473,024 67.31%
Conservative Laura Evans 137,753 19.60%
Green Melanie Horrocks 30,699 4.37%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 22,373 3.18%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 18,910 2.69%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 9,488 1.35%
Independent Marcus Farmer 6,448 0.92%
Independent David Sutcliffe 2,182 0.31%
Independent Alec Marvel 1,907 0.27%
Majority 335,271 50.4%
Turnout 714,745 34.74% Rejected ballots: 11,743
Registered electors 2,057,643

Rejected Ballots

There were 11,743 rejected ballots within the first round:[45]

Breakdown of Rejected Ballots
Reason Count
Want of an official mark 0
Voting for more than one candidate as to the first preference vote 5,177
Writing or mark by which voter could be identified 100
Unmarked or void for uncertainty as to the first preference vote 6,466


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Bolton) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 47,052 64.24%
Conservative Laura Evans 18,646 25.46%
Green Melanie Horrocks 2,070 2.83%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 1,974 2.70%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 1,503 2.05%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 1,263 1.72%
Independent Marcus Farmer 532 0.73%
Independent David Sutcliffe 144 0.20%
Independent Alec Marvel 57 0.08%
Majority 28,406 38.78%
Turnout 74,556 36.30%
Registered electors 205,388


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Bury) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 35,351 60.76%
Conservative Laura Evans 16,208 27.86%
Green Melanie Horrocks 1,974 3.39%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 1,519 2.61%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 1,390 2.39%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 1,152 1.98%
Independent Marcus Farmer 362 0.62%
Independent David Sutcliffe 177 0.30%
Independent Alec Marvel 51 0.09%
Majority 19,143 32.81%
Turnout 58,184 40.07%
Registered electors 145,190


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Manchester) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 86,736 77.31%
Conservative Laura Evans 9,211 8.21%
Green Melanie Horrocks 7,617 6.79%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 4,282 3.82%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 2,464 2.20%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 864 0.77%
Independent Marcus Farmer 789 0.70%
Independent David Sutcliffe 151 0.13%
Independent Alec Marvel 82 0.07%
Majority 79,525 69.10%
Turnout 112,196 29.40%
Registered electors 381,563


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Oldham) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 38,087 62.71%
Conservative Laura Evans 12,275 20.21%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 2,119 3.49%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 2,077 3.42%
Green Melanie Horrocks 2,069 3.41%
Independent Marcus Farmer 1,408 2.32%
Independent Alec Marvel 1,158 1.91%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 1,064 1.75%
Independent David Sutcliffe 477 0.79%
Majority 25,812 42.50%
Turnout 60,734 36.68%
Registered electors 165,556


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Rochdale) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 36,314 66.22%
Conservative Laura Evans 11,187 20.40%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 2,220 4.05%
Green Melanie Horrocks 1,891 3.45%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 1,553 2.83%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 920 1.68%
Independent Marcus Farmer 490 0.89%
Independent Alec Marvel 178 0.32%
Independent David Sutcliffe 89 0.16%
Majority 25,127 45.82%
Turnout 54,842 33.28%
Registered electors 164,783


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Salford) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 35,908 68.38%
Conservative Laura Evans 9,559 18.20%
Green Melanie Horrocks 2,786 5.31%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 1,485 2.83%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 1,244 2.37%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 806 1.53%
Independent Marcus Farmer 523 1.00%
Independent David Sutcliffe 164 0.31%
Independent Alec Marvel 41 0.08%
Majority 26,349 50.18%
Turnout 52,516 28.23%
Registered electors 186,058


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Stockport) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 57,971 65.74%
Conservative Laura Evans 17,146 19.44%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 5,206 5.90%
Green Melanie Horrocks 3,823 4.34%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 2,289 2.60%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 893 1.01%
Independent Marcus Farmer 542 0.61%
Independent David Sutcliffe 263 0.30%
Independent Alec Marvel 52 0.06%
Majority 40,825 46.30
Turnout 88,185 39.48%
Registered electors 223,387


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Tameside) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 34,865 64.21%
Conservative Laura Evans 12,410 22.85%
Green Melanie Horrocks 2,601 4.79%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 1,835 3.38%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 908 1.67%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 843 1.55%
Independent Marcus Farmer 430 0.79%
Independent Alec Marvel 222 0.41%
Independent David Sutcliffe 185 0.34%
Majority 22,455 41.36%
Turnout 54,299 31.89%
Registered electors 170,293


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Trafford) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 50,417 65.72%
Conservative Laura Evans 17,446 22.74%
Green Melanie Horrocks 3,863 5.04%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 2,212 2.88%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 1,534 2.00%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 509 0.66%
Independent Marcus Farmer 367 0.48%
Independent David Sutcliffe 348 0.45%
Independent Alec Marvel 18 0.02%
Majority 32,971 42.98%
Turnout 76,714 44.44%
Registered electors 172,639


Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2021 (Wigan) [45]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Labour Andy Burnham 50,323 70.02%
Conservative Laura Evans 13,665 19.01%
Reform UK Nick Buckley 2,309 3.21%
Green Melanie Horrocks 2,005 2.79%
English Democrat Stephen Morris 1,174 1.63%
Liberal Democrats Simon Lepori 1,160 1.61%
Independent Marcus Farmer 1,005 1.40%
Independent David Sutcliffe 184 0.26%
Independent Alec Marvel 48 0.07%
Majority 36,658 51.01%
Turnout 71,873 29.60
Registered electors 242,786

See also


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