Londoners are at the polls today to elect a new London Mayor. The good weather is expected to bring a high turn out of voters. Overall there are twelve candidates to choose from, but the latest YouGov poll suggests that today is going to be a battle between Labour’s Sadiq Khan and the Conservatives’ Zac Goldsmith.
Khan is the MP for Tooting, a former human rights lawyer and famously known as a bus driver’s son. His main policies are to improve housing by basing new housing rent on local income and giving Londoners first choice when it comes to new housing. He has also pledged to freeze public transport fares for the next four years and introduce a system whereby commuters can change buses within an hour and not be charged the fare twice. Khan has promised to be a “Mayor for all Londoners.”
Goldsmith is the MP for Richmond Park, the former editor of The Ecologist magazine and is a prominent environmental campaigner. In his manifesto he has pledged to freeze council tax for the next four years, as well as build 50,000 news homes. Goldsmith also vocally opposes the Heathrow airport expansion.
The other 10 candidates are: Caroline Pidgeon for the Liberal Democrats, Sian Berry for the Green Party, Peter Whittle for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), David Furness for the British National Party (BNP), George Galloway for Respect, Paul Golding for Britain First, Lee Harris for The Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol Party, Ankit Love for the One Love Party, Sophie Walker for the Women’s Equality Party and Prince Zylinski who is running independently.
Voters have the opportunity to select their first and second preference candidates. If none of the candidates receives over half of the votes then all but the top two candidates are eliminated and the two with the most votes are put forward into a second round, where the second preference votes are distributed. The ballot paper for this vote will be pink.
Londoners will also be voting in candidates for the London Assembly – the 25-member body that oversees City Hall and holds the Mayor to account. There are two ballot papers for this vote. One is to vote for a Constituency London Assembly Member (this ballot paper is yellow). The London Assembly Constituency is made up of the local authority you live in and one, two or three other local authorities. The second vote is for a London-wide Assembly Member (this ballot paper is orange).
Polling stations open until 10pm this evening. And votes will be counted from 8am on Friday. Voters can find their nearest polling station here.
Have a look at our previous coverage of the mayoral election: