The May 2015 elections saw Yorkshire First make significant progress across the region, with nearly 12,000 votes cast for the party.
In total 11,713 votes were recorded for Yorkshire First, making it one of the most successful performances ever recorded by a party participating in its first set of local and general elections. The results culminated in the election of Yorkshire First's first ever Councillors, with Lee Walton, Dr Bob Buxton and Wayne Chadburn all winning seats in their local areas.
Richard Carter, Leader of Yorkshire First, said:
"I'd like to thank every single person that cast a vote for Yorkshire First last week. Even though we didn't stand in every seat in Yorkshire this time we still recorded nearly 12,000 votes, which is a stunning result for a party little over a year old.
"Each one of those votes will help to energise our party and prove to Westminster that people in Yorkshire are fed up of second best, and instead want a fair deal for our great county.
“We wanted to use the opportunity to get the message across for a directly elected assembly for Yorkshire. We’ve achieved that despite the constraints we had as a new, small party. We also wanted to make a difference in key marginals in order to get candidates of the major parties to engage with the issue and make a commitment to getting greater powers devolved to the whole of Yorkshire. In that respect we could argue that our vote in Morley & Outwood contributed to Ed Balls’ defeat.*
“As a new party born in 2014 we along with other regional parties are taking our first baby steps. We will learn, understand and improve. We will continue our campaign for a directly-elected parliament for Yorkshire instead of the unaccountable and undemocratic combined authorities which have been imposed on us. Let’s be clear the results show the Conservatives have no mandate for combined authorities, city regions or mayors in Yorkshire.
“Looking ahead to the next two to three years, we need to establish a strong local base, getting local councillors elected and take inspiration from north of the border. The SNP got a smaller share of the vote in their first election in the 1920s than we did yesterday and look where they are now!* Although Yorkshire First wants a devolved parliament within the UK, not independence, we hope to emulate the SNP’s success.
“We hope that our journey won’t take quite as long. Just as Labour has lost the plot in Scotland, it will be increasingly vulnerable in its traditional heartlands in the North of England where it will be challenged by progressive regionalist parties like ourselves.
"Yorkshire First will now work hard to repay the trust that our voters have placed in us, and return stronger than ever for the local elections next year."
* In Morley & Outwood Arnie Craven the Yorkshire First candidate got 479 votes; Ed Balls lost by 422.
* In the 1929 General Election, the National Party of Scotland (as the SNP was known) achieved 3,313 votes. Yorkshire First achieved just under 7000 votes yesterday. Just over 1% of the vote.