Next Thursday, South Yorkshire will head to the polls to elect its Mayor – the third since the position was established in the mid-2010s.

Sheffield Wire has produced this guide, alongside a series of TikToks, to help you understand the what’s, who’s and why’s of this year’s election.

What are people going to be voting for?

The election will contest the position of Mayor of South Yorkshire, who chairs the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority Board. This consists of the four council leaders of the major settlements of the county – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

According to the SYMCA: “The Mayor acts to promote South Yorkshire as a place to live, work and invest,” while the MCA has the power and funding to create jobs and improve both the economy and infrastructure in the county.

Why is an election happening now?

The last election took place in 2022, when Oliver Coppard replaced Dan Jarvis (both Labour). Elections normally take place every four years. However, the Mayor will incorporate the roles of the Police and Crime Commissioner from next month, hence why an early election was called.

The SYMCA said the new roles will include setting the objectives of South Yorkshire Police, listening to communities’ needs, securing victim support services and holding the Chief Constable to account.

When can I vote, and when will the results be announced?

Voting will take place on Thursday 2 May. It is no longer possible to register to vote, but if you have, you should have received a polling card or a postal vote, if you applied for one. The polling card tells you the only polling station you can vote at.

Polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm on election day. You must remember to bring voter ID if you are voting in person. You do not need to take your polling card, although it may save time.

Unlike in a General Election, the results will not be declared in the same night after the polls close. Instead, a result will be declared on Saturday 4 May.

Who are the candidates?

The incumbent Mayor Mr Coppard will be standing for re-election, representing Labour. Cllr Nick Allen, who represents the Doncaster ward of Bessacarr, will stand for the Conservatives.

Cllr Hannah Kitching (Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Penistone West ward) will stand for the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Douglas Johnson (Sheffield City Council, City ward) is the Green Party’s candidate, while the Social Democratic Party will be represented by David Bettney – a Mexborough-born former soldier, who is endorsed by Reform UK.


Here’s the people standing in South Yorkshire’s Mayoral elections and their key pledges. GO VOTE #InPottsWeTrust #sheffield #southyorkshire #Mayor #localelections #registertovote #labour #tories #libdems #greens

♬ original sound – Sheffield Wire

Who should I vote for?

We are not endorsing a candidate here at Sheffield Wire. We believe you should read the candidates’ policies to make an informed decision. What we will say is, if you are registered, VOTE! It is your democratic right.

Even if you do not support any of the candidates, spoiled ballots are counted. Prospective candidates use them to calculate how to get your vote back, so a spoiled ballot is better than no ballot!

More information on the South Yorkshire Mayoral Elections can be found here. Don’t forget to vote on Thursday 2 May!