Campaign reflections. Where do we go from here?


I recently stood as a candidate in the West Yorkshire Mayoral election. This is the seventh time I have stood in some form of election over the last four years. I have desperately tried, along with others, to use the electoral system to platform opposition to state sponsored lies and malevolent agendas. Prior to 2020 I had never stood for election and I would have laughed at the suggestion that I would start doing so at an average of nearly twice a year. Everything changed in March 2020.

There were 6 candidates in the Mayoral election. I came fifth with 8.5% of the vote. Comfortably keeping my deposit and easily beating the Liberal Democrat candidate. The full results are detailed here Mayoral Election Result – Jonathan Tilt. Independent Candidate West Yorkshire Mayor 2024. (

8.5% is certainly feels better than the 2% and less that I was getting standing as a small party (Freedom Alliance) candidate. Going into the election the objective was to get 5% and not come last. So, both objectives were achieved comfortably

I targeted the mayoral election believing, correctly as it turned out, that there would be no other independents or small alternative parties standing. Only the Yorkshire Party, who are in reality anything other than alternative, muddied the waters slightly for me. I was also attracted to a marginally more level playing field than is on offer in other elections. I got the same space in the candidate booklet as everyone else. I was included in the regional televised BBC debate, albeit with restricted space.

The overall result hid some marked contrasts. My vote ranged from 16% and second place in Bradford to 3.5% and last in Leeds. There was far more variation in my results than for any of the other five candidates. My very good result in Bradford and good result in Kirklees (10%) and Calderdale (8.5%) were noted by the other parties, particularly the Conservatives.

Clearly the genocide in Gaza played a role in my vote. Former Labour members were standing as pro-Palestinian independents in Bradford and Kirklees and I undoubtedly benefitted from voters supporting them and me simultaneously. My position on Gaza is unequivocal  Palestine – Jonathan Tilt. Independent Candidate West Yorkshire Mayor 2024. ( The Green vote, with a candidate equally unequivocal about his opposition to the genocide, also benefited.

Given that the vote was being shared with the Greens, and a large part of it must have still voted Labour, then there is possibly something further at play. Bradford is the only one of the five districts to have implemented some form of clean air zone. It’s possible that due to campaigning on a clear anti-net zero platform I did benefit there from opposition to the practical effects of climate alarmism.

A small number of pro- freedom candidates did manage to get elected as independents. They did it in places like Oxford and Exeter by standing against the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods being implemented there. When the impact of climate alarmism is in people’s faces and impacting on their daily lives then they are willing to lend us their vote.

So perhaps there is a route to electoral success for the freedom movement. By being agile and focusing on the direct impacts of the globalists’ agenda then people can be persuaded to give us their votes. Or just vote to at all, as the harsh reality remains that non voting is the single biggest aid to the establishment parties. They don’t care if the turnout is 8%, what really terrifies them is an 80% turnout.

Back to my Mayoral campaign: I seem to have done relatively well. But what’s the point? I’m not the Mayor and a very long way from becoming so. It’s possible that the profile I’ve gained could be the basis for standing in the General Election in one of the constituencies in the west of the county. I could realistically target getting 10% and beating a couple of the mainstream candidates. But again, is there any point? I’m very unlikely to get elected and is second or third last really any different to just being last? What’s the point of standing in elections? What are we trying to achieve?

Essentially, I can see only two reasons for utilising elections as part of the wider resistance strategy. Firstly, the elections window provides an opportunity to challenge the prevailing statist narrative and outline an alternative. Normally I wouldn’t get coverage in the mainstream media and free delivery of an election address to 1.5 million people. The message does get traction even when it doesn’t lead to votes. Campaigning in a range of town centres it was clear that people knew who I was and had a rough idea of what I stood for.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, we need to be in the game in case there is a sudden shift in the wind. The corruption and malevolence of the globalist agenda, from Covid, to Gaza to climate alarmism might suddenly become apparent to all. I believe this will happen- we just don’t know when. The real and very present danger is that the electoral momentum available after such a wind shift could be captured by fake freedom parties. Reform and the Workers Party are the two current examples but doubtless there will others. Alarmingly the Liberal Democrats have opportunistically campaigned in Newcastle on an anti-Low Traffic Neighbourhood platform. We must be on the ballot paper in order to ensure that when the globalists and their puppet politicians fall from power they cannot rise again under some new guise.

So, I believe we must continue to use elections, but should we be standing as independents or via a small pro-freedom political party? I think I’ve demonstrated that independents get more votes. It’s easy to see why. During the mayoral campaign I was able to connect with a wide variety of campaign groups who would have probably been deterred by a party name.

Aside from the simple practicalities of getting more votes independent candidates are a better alignment with the freedom movement. The hierarchical structures inevitable in even small parties represent a model or organisation that most in the movement want to move away from. The disaggregated nature of independent candidates also makes infiltration and capture by establishment interests much harder.

Should the resistance campaign ever become solely focused on a single battleground then a small political party, named accordingly, could provide a valuable focus. Parties have the sole advantage of being able to use both a name and a descriptor on the face of the ballot paper. Shifting sands will limit the utility of this approach though: a party focused on a single issue can quickly become redundant as the sands shift.

We’ve moved from opposing lockdowns, to opposing vaccine mandates and now climate alarmism. Along the way we’ve campaigned to keep cash and against unaccountable 5G rollout along with various other issues. To us they’re all linked but to the wider electorate that’s less obvious. Only when the battle becomes firmly entrenched around one issue will there be any mileage in using a political party as an electoral vehicle. Climate alarmism currently looks like it may become that issue but we’re not there yet.

It goes without saying that any future party must be little more than a marketing front. No whips, no central hierarchy, and no out of control egos.


Jonathan Tilt



Scroll to Top