Could the expansion programme be put on the back-burner?
One of the big announcements at last week’s Manchester conference was a plan by an incoming Tory government to drastically increase the number of directly elected mayors with wide executive powers.
Currently there are just twelve on them and the majority of referenda on having them have produced no votes.
I wonder whether one consequence of today’s Bedford result might be to put the expansion programme on hold – certainly not in the first couple of years of a Cameron governments.
That’s was the view of one senior source I spoke to tonight. If victory is not possible when things are so favourable to the party as at the moment then how much more challenging will it be two years down the line. What’s the point of creating more powerful positions like this if the winners are not Tories?