Pulse week .

Voting was taking place today across the country. Credit: Ai image generated by Copilot by Microsoft Designer.


The Pulse: Race to declare, tactical toeing, Devo Glastonbury

Who will be first to declare?

Boundary changes mean the traditional fight for the first constituency to declare has moved on from Sunderland (1992 to 2015 winner) versus Newcastle (2017 and 2019). Newcastle has calmed its predictions to a result time of 1am. The race is likely to stay in the North East and be between Blyth & Ashington and Houghton & Sunderland South. Wherever it is, the first results are expected to come in around 11.30pm.

Devo Farm

Celebrity spotting doesn’t get better than Glastonbury, apparently, and what bigger stars than the disco-dancing mayors for Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire? Reporters from The Guardian and MEN had great fun touring the fields of this year’s festival to canvas political opinion from the hungover, monosyllabic youth of today – “meh” was the general view – as well as popping into the Worthy Farm Speakers Forum where Burnham appeared, and the Left Field tent to catch Brabin, having replaced Angela Rayner in the billing. Rumours of the mayoral duet’s jangly guitared psych-pop single about agglomeration effects coming out just in time for Christmas have yet to be confirmed or denied.


Our friends at Civic Engineers got together to produce a mini-manifesto for the incoming Prime Minister. Interestingly, several suggestions were already hiding in plain sight on the PM’s desk. Make the Carbon Emissions Bill law, first read in 2022 it would bring about meaningful change and bring in whole life carbon in building regulation; implement Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Act for SuDS, already legislation in Wales, this framework would set standards for installing sustainable drainage and stave off a negative insurance market for flood risk properties. Finally, Commission Manual for Streets 3 to refresh guidance on design for residential streets.

Lilly livid

Commentators agree that the UK has become appallingly bad at delivering infrastructure anywhere remotely near on time or budget. Among the latest private sector heavyweights to have a pop was Dave Ricks, chief executive of pharmaceuticals giant Eli Lilly. Ricks told the BBC he had considered building a factory in the UK in recent years but chose to take it elsewhere instead. The planning system was an “impediment”, he warned, surprising utterly no-one. Lilly once built a factory in Speke, South Liverpool. What would it take to lure it back? All eyes are on the PM to make the UK less awful at this stuff.

Tactically toeing the line

Tactical voting, where voters group together to support the candidate most likely to defeat a mutual opponent, often the incumbent MP, has made a notable return this election. At least as an openly campaigned-for approach. Traditionally, it was frowned upon publicly as it was deemed poor form; people ought to be encouraged to vote with their hearts not play games. Perhaps a reflection on the fraught nature of national politics and the mood of grasping for change, as well as the rise of Reform as a threat to Tories, have combined to push tactics out of the shadows into the mainstream this go round. In Cheshire, Labour has been clear about the stakes and urging voters to act tactically. Tories have been warning of a supermajority leaving Labour unchecked, urging its historic voters not to switch to Reform and Lib Dems.

Tactical voting combined PNG

Credits: Labour Party, Conservative Party

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