There will be 12 names on the ballot paper on May 5 bidding to become the third Mayor of London, it was confirmed this morning.
As the race proper for City Hall gets under way, the battle lines between Labour’s front-runner Sadiq Khan (his father was a bus driver, by the way) and Old Etonian millionaire Zac Goldsmith seem set around housing and transport, but also who, under the transferable voting system, can win over more second preference votes from the LibDems, Greens and each other through their environmental and other manifesto offers.
The winning candidate will have to manage an annual budget of about £16 billion, and as well as supervising the running of Transport for London will also oversee the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade.
The “unlucky” 13th non-candidate is, of course, Croydon’s own “Chump from the Dump”, Winston McKenzie, who was ruled out of standing for the English Democrats last night because he had a bit of an issue filling in the forms. Suggestions that, in an act of charity, McKenzie would be allocated the votes of all Londoners’ spoilt ballots were dismissed by City Hall this morning as being too likely to be taken seriously, rather than as an April Fool.
Not that there isn’t a fair share of far-right candidates and eccentrics on the ballot paper, with Britain First and the BNP there alongside the One Love Party and a real life Polish prince.
And just to avoid any confusion over whether his Respect Party is a one-man band, George Galloway’s asked to be listed as “Respect (George Galloway)”. Take away the parentheses, and you’d have a request with which most voters would find impossible to comply.
This will be the first significant regional or national election in which the Women’s Equality Party has fielded a candidate.
The candidates for Mayor of London are:
Sian Berry (Green Party)
David Furness (BNP)
George Galloway (Respect)
Paul Golding (Britain First)
Zac Goldsmith (Conservative)
Lee Eli Harris (Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol)
Sadiq Khan (Labour)
Ankit Love (One Love Party)
Caroline Pidgeon (LibDems)
Sophie Walker (Women’s Equality Party)
Peter Whittle (UKIP)
Prince Zylinski (Independent)
London Elects has also published the list of candidates that will stand to become the 11 London-wide Members of the London Assembly on its website here.
The candidates standing for the 14 Constituency Member seats on the London Assembly are announced by the relevant constituency returning officers, expected next week.
Around 5.8 million Londoners are eligible to vote, and they will be receiving a candidates booklet during the coming month, including “mini-manifestos” from 10 of the candidates (those who could manage to stump up the 10 grand required).
Voters will receive three ballot papers when they go to vote: one for the Mayor, one for the London-wide Assembly Members and one for the Constituency Assembly Members. The Mayoral election is not contested on the traditional first-past-the-post basis, but on transferable vote.
Twelve political parties are standing to win the 11 London-wide London Assembly seats, while 14 London Assembly Members are also elected to represent the capital’s constituencies.
In Croydon and Sutton, Tory Steve O’Connell has been the Assembly Member for eight years (not that anyone has noticed, beyond the person managing the Kenley councillor’s bank account); the seat has been Conservative-held since the Assembly was established in 2000. Standing for Labour in 2016 is Marina Ahmad.
In 2012, the Labour candidate for the Assembly, local councillor Louisa Woodley, managed to win the popular vote in Croydon ahead of O’Connell. This time round, Ahmad’s goal must be to do at least the same, while hoping that a revival of the Liberal Democrat vote in Sutton may put a squeeze on O’Connell’s cosy position.
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