Having run through the history of trans politicians in the UK in three parts – pre-2000, 2001-2009 and post-2010, it’s back to the usual routine and time to report who is standing in next month’s elections.
As a recap, we currently have four openly trans people elected to local government – many people will be aware of the first three, and news emerged last year of a fourth councillor, for UKIP, in Thanet. This is, as far as we are aware, a record high in trans representation in local government – but to put it into context, there are 20,830 seats on principal councils in the UK so the four of us represent just 0.02% of the total number of councillors. For comparison, figures for the number of trans people in the UK usually result in a number an order of magnitude higher, at around 0.1-0.2%.
Here’s the current, complete, list:
Cambridge City Council, Trumpington Ward
|Elected 2015 with 29.9% of the vote, 2.6% majority.|
Bolton City Council, Westhoughton North and Chew Moor Ward
|Elected 2015 with 41.3% of the vote, 2.7% majority.|
Thanet District Council, Eastcliff Ward
|Elected 2015 with 33.5% of the vote, 4.3% majority.|
Wolverhampton, East Park Ward
|Elected 2016 with 43.4% of the vote, 12.8% majority.|
There is also one election result to report – Ellen Murry stood again as the Green Party’s candidate in the sudden Northern Ireland Assembly election earlier this year:
West Belfast (Party list)
|Not elected. Round one result: 0.6%, change: -0.3%|
And now onto the main feature: candidates in 2017. It is slim pickings this year, with only
twothree candidates known of so far. I often receive news of more after the initial list is posted and anyone I hear of will be added here. At this point in the four-year local council electoral cycle, it is mostly county councils up for grabs. The job of a county councillor is typically more time consuming than at city/district level, and although I have not seen any evidence on the topic it does seem to favour those who are retired, self-employed and doing well or otherwise better off – which will tend to work against trans people in general. With an increasing number of trans people also holding office and Helen Belcher being the LibDem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Chippenham, there is also a smaller pool of people willing to stand for election!
Cambridgeshire, St Ives North & Wyton
Derbyshire, Ripley East and Codnor
And finally, one honorary mention. Lily, co-founder of Britain Elects, should have been the candidate for Uplands, Swansea next month. Sadly, she died late last year.