A critical case of the Brummie wobbles
Labour has long been dominant in the West Midlands but voters are wavering and Thursday’s mayoral race could foreshadow the national result on June 8
People in the West Midlands have a new favourite gesture. They hold out a hand, palm down, then wobble it uncertainly from side to side. It is triggered by any journalist asking how they are going to vote and it comes with the words: “I’ve always been Labour, but . . .”
In the place that arguably invented the modern industrialised world, they might be about to give us another preview of the future. On Thursday 1,961,153 West Midlanders can vote in a long-scheduled contest for a regional mayor that could say more than any opinion poll about how things will go in the bigger battle for the general election on June 8……
……..On April 8 Birmingham Central Mosque, whose chairman is a Labour councillor, held a “community tea party” — not greatly distinguishable from a Labour campaign event with appearances or speeches from Simon’s campaign manager, Liam Byrne MP, the Labour council leader and the Labour police and crime commissioner.
Also present was Mahroof Hussain, a former Labour cabinet member and councillor in Rotherham. He resigned from both posts after an official report into the town’s child grooming scandal said council staff felt that he had “suppressed discussion” of the issue. Hussain is now taking an active part in the Simon get-out-the-vote effort.
Read on… https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/election-2017/a-critical-case-of-the-brummie-wobbles-2zpq59nhc