Localism is important to the electorate

By Dr Janice Morphet | 26 May 2021

The local elections in England were a major milestone in assessing the nation’s views on the way in which the pandemic has been handled at central and local levels. In Scotland and Wales, the ratings of the First Minsters have climbed during their leadership of the pandemic, but the broadcast media took some time to appreciate that, when the Prime Minister was speaking on pandemic management, he was speaking for England only.

The stark contrast in powers between the First Ministers and mayors of combined authorities also became clear – they had few powers to manage the pandemic locally and the true scale of English centralised government was apparent. As the PM’s centralised approaches to track and trace, volunteering and PPE continued, his poll ratings declined yet when the vaccine rollout was clearly through local delivery, his national poll ratings improved. Would the PM learn anything from this?

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