For the very first time, voters heading to the polls on May 6th will be casting their vote for the Mayor of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. Many people are unsure of what the role of a West Yorkshire Mayor would be, and it how it affects them.
What is the West Yorkshire Combined Authority?
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) is a body which brings together all five West Yorkshire Councils – Kirklees, Bradford, Calderdale, Wakefield and Leeds. It is a strategic authority with powers over transport, economic development and regeneration. The authority works to improve issues that affect everyone in West Yorkshire such as transport, housing and the economy.
What is the elected Mayor’s role?
The elected Mayor will represent the 2.5 million residents who currently live in West Yorkshire. Following a devolution deal agreed in March 2020 between the five Council leaders and Government, decisions about transport, housing, skills and regeneration which were previously made in Parliament will now be made here in West Yorkshire.
Whilst you may have seen national promotions about elections for a Police and Crime commissioner in other areas; in West Yorkshire the Mayor will take on these functions.
Who are the candidates to become the Mayor?
There are seven candidates standing for Mayor of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. These are listed below sorted in alphabetical order by their last name.
Waj Ali – Reform UK
Tracy Lynn Brabin – Labour and Co-operative Party
Bob Buxton – Yorkshire Party
Andrew Varah Cooper – Green Party
Stewart Golton – Liberal Democrats
Therese Hirst – English Democrats – ‘Putting England First’
Matt Robinson – The Conservative Party Candidate
*For reasons of impartiality, we have not included any details of party specific political information. Voters are advised to review all candidate specific information through trusted sources.
How is the voting process different?
This election is held using a ‘supplementary voting system’. This mean that when voting for the election of the Mayor of the WYCA, voters can cast up to two votes. The first is for their first choice of candidate, and if they wish, voters can select a second choice candidate.
When voting is closed, the votes are counted. If one candidate receives more than 50% of first choice votes – they will become the elected mayor.
If no candidate has a 50% majority, the two candidates with the highest number of first choice votes remain in the election and the rest are eliminated. All second choice votes are then counted, and votes for the two remaining candidates will be added to their first choice totals.
The candidate with the highest number of overall votes cast is declared as the Mayor of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
The result of the election will be declared on Sunday 9th May 2021. A booklet has been sent to every household in West Yorkshire containing details of the elections and candidates.