Historical election success for alumna Tracy

A black and white photo of Tracy Brabin

Tracy Brabin has been elected as the first mayor of West Yorkshire.

Alumna Tracy stood as the Labour and Co-operative Party mayoral candidate in West Yorkshire, campaigning for many months in the lead up to the election last week. She was one of seven candidates running for the position of West Yorkshire’s first ever mayor. On winning, she also makes history as England’s first female metro mayor.

Elections took place in the UK on 5 May, with the count taking place on 9 May.

After second preference count, Tracy took 310,923 votes for the position, 101,786 more votes than second place candidate Matt Robinson (Conservative Party).

Since 2016 Tracy has held a Labour seat in Westminster as the MP for Batley and Spen, succeeding her friend Jo Cox, who was murdered earlier that year.

She has served as a Labour MP under Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Keir Starmer and resigned her frontbench duties at the end of 2020 to pursue her mayoral campaign. Tracy must now resign her position as MP, triggering a by-election.

On her election success yesterday, the former Coronation Street actress and 1982 BA Drama graduate said:

“I never imagined I would be elected as MP for my hometown, let alone be asked to serve as the first ever metro mayor of West Yorkshire, the first ever woman metro mayor.” Tracy added, “Our politics are better when women are at the top table.”

Some of her pledges include supporting local businesses to champion regional economy, build sustainable homes, tackle the climate change emergency, and bring buses back into public control. Her new post also includes police and crime commissioner powers.

Over two million people are resident in the West Yorkshire region. The introduction of the new mayoral role brings with it a devolution deal that includes funds for projects such as transport and housing.

Read more about Tracy in her alumni profile.