Trans politicians election results: May 2018

When I first started documenting trans people who had stood for elected office, the aim was simple. Demonstrate to those interested in putting themselves forward for public office that being trans and non-binary is no longer a big deal.

With the record number of openly trans and non-binary candidates standing in 2016, it very much appeared that mission had been accomplished – and not just in terms of candidates, but also those having been elected, with the total currently standing at five. As a reminder, here is the list prior to the local elections. Gantly was first elected in 2014, but only transitioned recently so is new to this list but the others will be more familiar names to regular readers.

Osh Gantly
Islington, Highbury East Ward
Term expires May 2018
Zoë Kirk-Robinson
Bolton, Westhoughton North & Chew Moor
Term expires May 2019
Sarah Larkins
Thanet, Eastcliff Ward
Term expires May 2019
Anwen Muston
Wolverhampton, East Park Ward
Term expires May 2020
Zoë O’Connell
Cambridge, Trumpington Ward
Term expires May 2019

Sadly, this year, that changed.

The list below was compiled back in April, after the close of nominations for the local elections. But in discussion with several candidates, people expressed fears that the current media frenzy around trans people would result in them being targeted for harassment at a time which is already stressful and hectic for any candidate. There were also worries that anti-trans campaigners would try to interject in online social media conversations with (potential) constituents, something that has happened to MPs before now.

So, because I value accuracy and did not want to publish a partial list, the publication was delayed until after the election.

And unfortunately, those fears were not unfounded. On polling day, Sarah Brown was subjected to abuse on social media after featuring on a list of LGBT candidates put out by LGBT+ Liberal Democrats. No LGB candidate was targeted in the same way.

It has since been revealed that transphobes targeted the same twitter account for vexatious complaints to try to have it shut down in retaliation for supporting trans people – an attempt that failed, with one conspirator forced to admit they could not actually find any objectionable content about which to complain.

Elsewhere, local “thugs” paid a visit to the house of a sitting Conservative trans councillor and her partner, who was also a candidate that year. It is unclear if the timing was a coincidence or not.

Hopefully, next year the storm will have passed and we can return to the usual schedule. The actual results on the day were somewhat less dramatic than the rhetoric in the media around trans people. There were no major shifts in the vote and nobody new was elected, and Gantly comfortably retained her seat on Islington Borough Council.

Sarah Brown
Cambridge, Petersfield Ward
2nd place, 20.0% (+7%)
Full results
Aimee Challenor
Coventry, St Michael’s Ward
4th place, 5.4% (-0.1%)
Full results
Emma Copeland
Fareham, Fareham North Ward
3rd place, 13.6% (+1.3%)
Full results
Sam Feeney
Huntingdonshire, St Ives East Ward
3rd with 2 elected*, 33.5%
First election on new boundaries. Full results
Osh Gantly (Standing for re-election)
Islington, Highbury East Ward
Re-elected 3rd of 3 elected*, 37.5%
Full results
Charley Hasted
Lambeth, Bishop’s Ward
6th, with top 3 elected*, 24.8% (-3.0%)
Full results
Jennifer Kirk
Bolton, Farnworth Ward
3rd place, 4.5% (-1.5%)
Full results

* Some elections were “all-ups” where voters are entitled to multiple votes and multiple candidates are elected. Percentages are based on the proportion of valid ballot papers which included a vote for the candidate rather than the total number of votes cast.


  1. Small correction – I came 3rd in St Ives East but there were only two places available. I think the turnout was marginally less at 28.82%

  2. Hi Zoe, I know everybody is focused on Brexit of course but do you know of any names coming forward for the 2019 local elections?

    1. Nothing yet, but that’s not surprising in the current media environment. I imagine many people intending to stand are focusing on local matters and don’t want to put themselves on the radar of hostile journalists.

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