But while the importance of the region from an electoral perspective has been clear to all major parties as they pump resources into retaining and winning seats, voters of all political persuasions living in the North are widely convinced they are currently being let down by Westminster and Whitehall and back the Power Up The North campaign launched by this newspaper and others earlier this year to redress the balance.
A new survey reveals 70 per cent of regional voters think the North gets a bad deal from Government, with just five per cent believing this is not the case. In the short-term over half were more likely to vote for candidates who pledge more investment for the North while in the longer term two-thirds want to see the introduction of a regional strategy for economic growth.
One of the recurrent themes of this election has been the breakdown of traditional party allegiances as part of the continuing fallout to the 2016 Brexit referendum, as many turn away from parties they and their families have supported throughout their lives. It means all parties have a golden opportunity to win over wavering voters in the North by tackling the nation’s glaring regional inequalities.
Whatever Government is formed as a result of Thursday’s election, it is vital that the grand promises which will undoubtedly come from all quarters in the next few days prove to be much more than the empty words they have sadly ended up being in the past. Meaningful changes must be delivered after electioneering comes to an end.