LONDONERS voted in the capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan just a month before Britain’s referendum on leaving the EU.
While Brexit continues to dominate the news agenda, there’s another vote coming up that should also catch your attention. Let’s take a look at the candidates so far – and their odds on winning come May next year.
Who could be London’s mayor?
Labour – Sadiq Khan
Khan is seeking a second term as Mayor after he was first elected in 2016 with 44.2 per cent of the vote.
But even as a favourite fighting for re-election in Labour-dominated London, Khan has a fight on his hands.
After a honeymoon first year, satisfaction ratings slumped to their lowest level this summer.
A YouGov poll found only 30 per cent of Londoners were satisfied with his leadership, and 33 per cent dissatisfied.
While widely praised for showing the capital as open and inclusive, his leadership has been marred by a perceived inability to tackle big issues such as transport infrastructure and knife crime.
The 48-year-old son of a bus driver, London’s first Muslim mayor, will need to convince voters he has what it takes to steer the capital through the next four years.
Conservatives – Shaun Bailey
Tory candidate Shaun Bailey, 48, is the son of a lorry driver, whose grandfather came to Britain from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation.
Bailey joined the Army cadets while still a teenager and remained with them for another 10 years.
In 2006, he co-founded MyGeneration, a charity for young people, which closed in 2012 due to financial problems.
He attempted to be selected in a number of London constituencies in 2017, including Kensington, Croydon South and Uxbridge South and Ruislip.
Odds for London's 2020 Mayoral Election
Sadiq Khan (Labour) – 4/7
Rory Stewart (Independent) – 5/2
Siobhan Benita (Liberal Democrats) – 10/1
Shaun Bailey (Conservatives) – 16/1
Sian Berry (Greens) – 50/1
Odds on Ladbrokes, October 4, 2019
Liberal Democrats – Siobhan Benita
Benita is former civil servant, who also stood as an independent candidate in the 2012 London mayoral election.
The 47-year-old, who wants to make cannabis legal, could capitalise on the Lib Dems’ recent success both in Parliament and the EU elections.
She has said her priorities would be knife crime and serious violence, the environment and air quality, “homes that people can afford” rather than “affordable homes”, and Brexit.
Green Party – Sian Berry
The Greens’ co-leader will be standing once again as a 2020 mayoral candidate.
Berry, 45, finished third behind Khan and his rival Zac Goldsmith in 2016.
And she also stood in 2008, coming fourth.
Berry intends to focus on the city’s housing crisis in this comping campaign
She said the Greens were the “only party Londoners can trust to deliver on their promises” with regard to housing.
Independent – Rory Stewart
Former Tory MP Rory Stewart is the latest contender to throw his hat into the ring.
Stewart comes fresh from rocking the Tory leadership race, with his walks across the UK trending on Twitter.
But will #rorywalks be enough to put him in charge of the capital?
The 46-year-old former Etonian has stood down from his constituency in Penrith and The Border, weeks after he had the Tory whip withdrawn.
In his opening letter announcing his candidacy in the Evening Standard, Stewart vowed to tackles issues such as unaffordable housing, air pollution and knife crime.
Stewart, who has worked as a diplomat, adventurer and author, will now be walking through the streets of London in an unofficial start to his campaign.
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Women’s Equality Party – Sue Black
Professor Black is a computer scientist, government adviser and social entrepreneur.
She has been open about bringing up her three children as a single mother after leaving an abusive relationship.
She said: “I know the the value of women’s services, childcare, education and communities because without them I wouldn’t have been able to rebuild mine and my children’s lives in the way I have.
“I now have an incredible career because of the opportunities I had, and I see the limitations politics is currently placing on women like me by taking away those opportunities. I want to change that.”
Professor Black says her focus will be on tackling violence against women and girls.
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