This blog originally appeared on CityMetric, the New Statesman’s cities site
In an April 2015, a poll commissioned by the Manchester Evening News found that 72 per cent of respondents were in favour of Manchester seceding from the United Kingdom.
Like the post-Brexit petition for London independence, perhaps the poll shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But it does illustrate the independent Mancunian spirit – a spirit that’s also seen its civic leaders reshaping the city’s political institutions and economic strategies since its post-industrial nadir in the 1980s.
Today, Greater Manchester is moving towards electing its first metro mayor next year. Could it really go beyond that – to independence?