By KLTV Newsdesk –
Tracy Brabin has been officially elected as the first Mayor of West Yorkshire.
On Thursday the 6 May, as part of the days bumper crop of local elections, the public voted on who they wanted to see as Mayor for Kirklees, Calderdale, Leeds, Wakefield and Bradford.
Ms Brabin, of the Labour Party, was declared the winner of the election after two rounds, receiving a total of 310,923 votes.
The next nearest candidate was the Conservative Party’s Matt Robinson, who received 209,137 votes.
The total voter turnout for the election was 617,782, around 36.5% of the electorate in West Yorkshire.
The vote count took place across the region, including Cathedral house in Kirklees and at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, where many of the candidates had gathered.
The final result came after the need for the second preference votes to be counted, as the first round of result saw no candidate reach the required 50% of the vote to win.
The results of the first round were as follows:
Tracy Brabin, Labour Party – 261,170
Matt Robinson, The Conservative Party – 176,167
Bob Buxton, The Yorkshire Party – 58,851
Andrew Cooper, Green Party – 55,833
Stewart Golton, Liberal Democrats – 30,162
Wajid Ali, Reform UK – 14,943
Therese Hirst, English Democrats – 8,969
After the first round of results, the bottom five candidates were eliminated and it became a two-horse race between Mr Robinson and Ms Brabin, and ultimately decided by each voter’s second preference.
One surprise was the third-place result for Bob Buxton of the Yorkshire Party, beating both Andrew Cooper of the Green Party and Stewart Golton of the Liberal Democrats.
After another few hours counting the second preference votes, it was announced that Tracy Brabin had won and is set to become Mayor.
Ms Brabin described the win as “an honour I cannot put into words” and that she “will fight for every single resident so everyone has the opportunity to succeed.”
The result also means Ms Brabin is England’s first female metro mayor.
We did it! I'm proud to be the first West Yorkshire Metro Mayor and I'm incredibly humbled and grateful for every single vote. I will fight for every single resident so everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/EimN6Ga7I0
— TracyBrabin (@TracyBrabin) May 9, 2021
Ms Brabin will now have to resign from her position as an MP, because as mayor she will also be the new West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, and you cannot be both at the same time.
This means Batley and Spen will now have a byelection to decide a new representative for the ward.
Interestingly, pollsters have predicted that the Conservative Party will win the byelection, potentially gaining another seat for the tories in the crucial ‘red wall’ territory.
So what does this all mean for the region? The agreement for there to be a West Yorkshire Mayor came as part of a £1.8 Billion devolution deal with central government, one that will hopefully give the region more powers and a greater ability to self-govern.
The budget for the Mayor will be £38 million a year, for the next 30 years, so there will be plenty of investment for both now and the future.
In terms of party politics, a Labour win for such an influential position will likely ease some of the sting of the other local election results, which saw them lose key seats to the Conservative Party, both nationally with Hartlepool and closer to home with the likes of Denby Dale.