South Yorkshire mayor election: ‘Yorkshire Party’s third place finish shows people want more regional power’ says candidate

The Yorkshire Party has said their third-place finish in the South Yorkshire mayoral election shows voters want more regional powers through devolution.
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Barnsley-born candidate Simon Biltcliffe beat established parties such as the Green Party and Liberal Democrats whilst securing more than 34,000 votes in the first ballot.

The election was won by Labour’s Oliver Coppard, who secured the victory in the second round of voting. Conservative Clive Watkinson came second.

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Mr Biltciffe, who said he would donate his £84,000 yearly salary to charity if elected, secured 13.4 per cent of the first-round votes in the mayoral election, an increase of almost 5 per cent on the 2018 contest.

Yorkshire Party's Simon BiltcliffeYorkshire Party's Simon Biltcliffe
Yorkshire Party's Simon Biltcliffe

The party were also just over three per cent behind the Tories in the second preference votes.

Party bosses said that tallying data from the count showed that it had twice as many second preference votes as first, which would mean that over 40 per cent of voters gave the Yorkshire Party either their first or second preference vote.

This follows on from Bob Buxton, Yorkshire Party leader, finishing third place in the West Yorkshire mayoral election in 2021 – again beating the Liberal Democrats and Greens in both elections.

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The polling figures led the party leader to claim that more people in the county are increasingly supporting its demand for a Yorkshire Regional Parliament.

Mr Biltciffe added: “Yorkshire needs its fair share of powers and budgetary control, through a regional parliament.

“Fair funding and a regional focus on transport, green energy, crime and economic strategy would allow Yorkshire to prosper, regardless of events at Westminster.

“The election results, both this year and last, show we’re attracting huge andincreasing support for real devolution.”

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Dr Buxton added: “While Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer are investigated by the police, where is the so-called ‘levelling up’? Nowhere.

“Transport remains unbuilt and underinvested. A Hull-to-Liverpool rail-link, a West Yorkshire rapid mass transit system and many other railway lines are as distant as ever.

“While the cost-of-living crisis bites, the Chancellor says it would be ‘silly’ to help families. Yorkshire can provide better leadership for itself.”