Mayoral Elections

There will be five combined authority mayoral elections taking place in Yorkshire on 2nd May. These will be to elect mayors for West Yorkshire; South Yorkshire, some areas of which extend beyond Yorkshire’s boundaries; York and North Yorkshire; Tees Valley, those areas south of the Tees are within Yorkshire; and Greater Manchester, which includes Saddleworth.

Candidates are required to deliver their nomination papers by Friday 5th April so we will not know definitely who is actually standing for office until the respective councils release that information.

Those that have already expressed their intention to stand are as follows (as previously stated, this information is provisional and subject to change):-

West Yorkshire: Tracy Brabin (Labour), the current mayor; Arnold Craven (Conservative); Andrew Cooper (Green Party); and Jonathan Tilt (Independent).

South Yorkshire: Oliver Coppard (Labour), the current mayor; and Nick Allen (Conservative).

York and North Yorkshire: Keane Duncan (Conservative); David Skaith (Labour); Felicity Cunliffe-Lister (Liberal Democrat); Kevin Foster (Green Party); Paul Haslam (Independent); and Keith Tordoff (Independent).

Tees Valley: Ben Houchen (Conservative), the current mayor; Chris McEwan (Labour); Sally Bunce (Green Party); and Simon Thorley (Liberal Democrat).

Greater Manchester: Andy Burnham (Labour), the current mayor; Laura Evans (Conservative); Dan Barker (Reform); Jake Austin (Liberal Democrat); and Nick Buckley (Independent).

These elections are significant enough in themselves, but they could also provide a preview of what might happen in a general election. The deposit threshold of £5,000 is likely to put off independent candidates and can also work against some of the smaller parties which might not have sufficient financial resources. In the interests of democracy, we believe that the deposits for mayoral elections should be brought in line with those for parliamentary elections, which currently stand at £500.

Given the importance of these elections, we hope for a high turnout, but it is not clear that the public have bought into the mayoral devolution model or fully understand the potential of devolution. The worst result for democracy would be a very low turnout brought about by apathy and the potential lack of choice provided by the major parties. Mayors seem to be able to develop their own characteristics which can expand beyond party dogma. In most cases, this can be a good thing.

I would conclude by saying that, if progress can be made with the mayoral model, just think what we could do in Yorkshire with a Yorkshire Parliament.

One thought on “Mayoral Elections

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *