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Paul Vicary

Paul Vicary covers the London Mayoral election

Paul Vicary, director at DevComms updates the Forum on the forthcoming election for the London Mayor on Thursday May 2.

Later this week, voters across London will elect a new term of London Assembly Members (LAM) and, of course, the next Mayor.

In the inaugural ‘first past the post’ election for the prestigious role, thirteen candidates are vying to be the Capital’s next Mayor. We take a look at the four main contenders.

Sadiq Khan, Labour

London born and bred; the well-publicised incumbent who has polarised local authorities and residents alike. Under Khan, London has seen ‘record levels of homebuilding’ together with a freeze on TfL fares over the last 5 years. Looking ahead, a key objective of his manifesto is ‘fixing’ the housing crisis by building 40,000 new council homes, rent control homes and aims for an end to rough sleeping by 2030. He has committed to not extending the ULEZ scheme if he wins an unprecedented third term.

Susan Hall, Conservative

Longstanding member of Harrow Council, Susan Hall is Khan’s strongest opposition. She has made bold claims about scrapping ULEZ from day 1 if elected; she also plans to bring back borough-led policing, prioritise building more family homes, remove low-traffic neighbourhoods and major on development of brownfield land. Certainly, these objectives are aimed at targeting some of London’s biggest challenges. However, her profile has remained relatively low throughout the campaign, has she done enough to unseat Khan?

Rob Blackie, Lib Dem

Campaigning under the slogan ‘Fix the Met. Fix London’, Rob Blackie Is majoring on tackling the Capital’s soaring levels of crime, having been a victim of a serious attack previously. Claiming that the Met is in crisis, he is committed to delivering more police on the streets of London, keeping local police stations open and rebuilding trust in the police force.

Zoe Garbett, Green Party

Hackney Councillor, Zoe Garbett, is styling herself as a ‘campaigning mayor’ which is likely to appeal to those seeking change. She is standing for delivering affordable and safe homes, bringing down rents, making transport affordable, free school meals for secondary school pupils and increasing safety on the streets.

Whilst there are many common themes in the manifestos of the main candidates, it is likely to come down to a predictable two horse race, particularly given that this election will be a first past the post vote.

A recent YouGov poll indicates that the closer we get to the election, the tighter the gap between Sadiq Khan and Susan Hall. Furthermore, the poll indicates that whilst Khan is likely to win a third term, the gap between the two candidates will in fact be tighter in the south and west boroughs of London where Susan Hall is more popular.

DevComms will be monitoring the election closely and continue to report on the LAM and Mayoral elections.

By Paul Vicary

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