Trans politicians standing for election: May 2017

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:

Liberal Democrats Zoë O’Connell
Cambridge City Council, Trumpington Ward

Elected 2015 with 29.9% of the vote, 2.6% majority.
Conservatives Zoë Kirk-Robinson
Bolton City Council, Westhoughton North and Chew Moor Ward
Elected 2015 with 41.3% of the vote, 2.7% majority.
Sarah Larkins
Thanet District Council, Eastcliff Ward
Elected 2015 with 33.5% of the vote, 4.3% majority.
Labour Anwen Muston
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:

Green Party Northern Ireland Ellen Murray
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!

Labour Sam Feeney
Cambridgeshire, St Ives North & Wyton
Mridul Wadhwa
Edinburgh, Craigentinny/Duddingston
Alex Bear
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.

Labour Lily Summers
Swansea, Uplands

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