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Polling of voter intentions in the West Midlands Mayoral Election race has left political commentators surprised, and reflects just how bad a defeat the Tories could face at the upcoming elections. 

With less than three weeks until local elections across the country, research company Redfield and Wilton strategies carried out a poll asking people in the region who they would vote for as West Midlands Mayor. 

The current Tory mayor Andy Street was first elected in 2017 and was re-elected in 2021 on a comfortable win against Labour. He continues to hold a positive net approval rating of +12% for his overall performance as mayor, however this has not translated into voting intentions. 

The latest polling suggests that Street is looking at a brutal blow to his re-election hopes, trailing behind Labour candidate Richard Parker by a wide 14%. 

A significant 42% of voters expressed their intention to vote for Labour’s Parker, against only 28% for Street. 

The mayoral candidate has admitted his attempt to distance himself from the Tory image in the run up to the elections, believing the party’s unpopularity could damage ‘Brand Andy’ – and his fears seem justified. 

Although he retains the support of 60% of those who put him as their first choice three years ago, it seems the demise in reputation of the Conservative Party is letting down even Tory candidates with positive approval ratings. 

One X user commented: “Of all the recent polls, this is the one which should worry Rishi Sunak the most. Andy Street has been an excellent West Midlands Mayor with a strong record. If the Party brand is that much of an anchor it spells a landslide defeat at the General Election.”

John O’Shea wrote: “Ouch.

“If Street loses, I can’t see Sunak surviving as PM.

“Street has portrayed himself as the independent Tory. If he can’t translate that branding into a win against the odds, then nobody can.”

Reform UK came third in the poll, with the right-wing party candidate Elaine Williams pulling in 13% of voters. 

Author Lewis Baston commented: “Will be interesting to see if that fairly high Reform UK figure gets reflected in reality. My guess had been that Street would win but he’s probably too close to the Tory brand…”

Although Street has a distance to climb, his support is still more positive than voter intentions in the West Midlands for the Tory Party as a whole, with 52% saying they would vote for Labour, compared to just 24% for the Conservatives.

(Image credit: WorldSkills UK / Flickr)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

The post West Midlands Mayoral Election voting poll reveals even more surprising blow for Tories than expected appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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