On May 6th, 2021, local elections in Hampshire will continue as planned. Last year, the hotly-contested vote was postponed for non-political reasons, making the upcoming elections even more thought-provoking.
In May 2019, Richard Rowles was appointed as the Andover Town mayor. However, the local mayor won’t be running in 2021 with the Andover Alliance. So, with a change of mayor on the horizon, who’s looking likely to take the position? Well, let’s take a look at the various parties and their policies.
A Much-Discussed Event
As mentioned above, the Andover election is a hot topic within the local community. After last year’s postponement, Rowles kept his position, although it wasn’t without controversy. In 2019, Andover Alliance won 15 of an available 16 seats, but Rowles received a vote of no confidence from fellow councillors in November 2020. This contentious matter put the party’s future into doubt, with the Electoral Commission even de-registering the group. However, Rowles’ party later re-registered at the turn of the new year.
There’s a sense of the unknown hanging over the upcoming May elections in Andover. With the mayor position seemingly up for grabs, this could be one of the closest votes in local history. Because it’s a much-discussed event, there’s potentially scope for the area to become a focal point of political betting over the coming years. With voters taking a passionate interest in proceedings, there’s undoubtedly a market for betting opportunities. Andover could follow in London’s footsteps, with operators hosting 2021 London Mayor odds. As of April 16th, Sadiq Khan is 1/50 to retain his position, which is a feat that Rowles appears unlikely to match.
Who’s Running and What’s the State of Play?
Hampshire is one of many locations within the United Kingdom that will host local elections on May 6th. Although this decision has divided opinion, candidates in Andover are preparing for the upcoming vote. With Andover Alliance seemingly not running, it opens the door to a new era within the Hampshire town. Currently, many parties are running for local election in 2021, including the Conservatives, Green Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, and various independent groups.
However, if the 2019 elections show anything, it’s that independent parties flourish in Andover. Although the Conservative Party received the most votes, they were only just ahead of the Andover Alliance. As such, Andover Independent may surpass expectations on May 6th. The group have plans to improve the local high street by introducing free parking, improved seating, new markets, public toilets, and much more. Independent candidates, Michael Mumford and Stu Waue, believe that enhancing Andover’s shopping economy is achievable by focussing on the attractiveness of community areas both financially and visually.
Only Time Will Tell What’s to Come
Given that political votes are always unpredictable, it’s difficult to predict what direction local residents will opt for on May 6th. One thing, however, is for sure. With Rowles seemingly out of the running, the town is facing a fresh start with a new-look mayor. Because of that, it’s fair to say that it’s an exciting time for the Hampshire-based area.