5 may 2019, glocal

Like the wonderful 7up, distance gives insight, so even if I don't have geography (being these days as connected in muscat as if still in manchester), the last time I looked at the city's politics was 2011 (3 entries no less, before 11 may, the luck of the draw). Back then, greater manchester was colourful, with 4 labour councils, 2 conservative, 2 libdems and 2 of those local election-night favourites, no overall control (see also 10 june 2012, manchester as europe). With central government blue since, manchester moved steadily red, last night taking the final fortress of tory trafford, with altrincham adding a splash of green, as they won all 3 seats there and notched up several other wins, including in tameside. Remarkably, labour lost bolton, to noc. Independents gained everywhere, no stranger to stockport, where our very own heald green independent ratepayers maintained it's 100% record of decades and holds the balance of power. In the citadel of manchester itself, the libdems scored a significant win and several near misses. Overall, greater manchester seems to have swung more to its own regional rhythm, blunting the national tides more than some other areas. Beneath the surface though, the big battle is for the heart and soul of the dominant labour party, most intensely in its manchester heartland, where throughout the last years it has similarly kept its own counsel amidst the radical sweeps of history transforming the party. How that national battle plays locally in the wake of these elections will now be interesting to see.