Yorkshire Party Selects South Yorkshire Mayoral Candidate

The Yorkshire Party has selected Barnsley entrepreneur Simon Biltcliffe to be its candidate in the 2022 South Yorkshire mayoral election which will take place on 5 May. The incumbent, Dan Jarvis, has stated that he will not be standing.


Dan Jarvis played the key role in securing the devolution deal for South Yorkshire when plans for a One Yorkshire deal were frustrated by government intransigence. In our opinion, the government missed a key opportunity, but Mr Jarvis laid the foundations and has made a really significant contribution to the progress of South Yorkshire during his tenure as mayor. He will be a difficult act to follow.

We understand that the election will take place using the Supplementary Vote (SV) system where voters have a first and second preference choice. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the first preference votes they are elected. If no candidate reaches the 50% threshold, the two candidates with the highest number of votes remain. The other candidates are eliminated. The second preferences of the eliminated candidates are transferred, as appropriate, to the two remaining candidates. The candidate with the most votes at the end of the process is elected.

It is likely that the SV system assisted the Yorkshire Party in the West Yorkshire mayoral election earlier this year as a voter can take a chance with a different or new candidate in the knowledge that their vote is still likely to count if it comes to a second preference run off.

The government has vowed to replace the SV system with the First Past The Post (FPTP) system used in general elections and local council elections on the basis that it strengthens accountability. This is clearly nonsense in this day and age. Any system that does not take into account the total number of votes cast can only be regarded as “partially democratic”.

The counter argument to stronger accountability is that bodies elected purely on the basis of FPTP may not even have a mandate to govern. This certainly applies to the current government!

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