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The candidates for the London mayoral election have been finalised. The main two candidates to succeed Alexander ‘Boris’ Johnson, who is now the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, are Sadiq Khan MP (Labour, Tooting) and Zac Goldsmith MP (Conservative, Richmond Park). These two candidates were selected by their parties in September 2015.
(Video: Adam Bienkov)
Established by a referendum , the first London Mayoral election was held in the year 2000. The role was initially held by Ken Livingstone, who ran as an Independent after being rejected from the Labour nomination. In 2004, Ken Livingstone was re-elected, this time as Labour’s candidate. In seeking a third term, Mr Livingstone lost to the Conservative politician Alexander ‘Boris’ Johnson. The two candidates faced each other again in 2012, with the Conservative once again triumphant . Being the directly-elected mayor of the nation’s biggest city, the London Mayor has the largest personal mandate of any politician in the country.
There are a record 12 candidates standing for the London mayoralty. The candidates for the five largest parties in London are: Labour’s Sadiq Khan, the Conservative’s Zac Goldsmith, the Green’s Sian Berry, Caroline Pidgeon of the Liberal Democrats, and Peter Whittle of UKIP.
Sophie Walker is the candidate for the nascent Women’s Equality Party. George Galloway will be standing as the Respect candidate.
Paul Golding, the leader of the nationalist party and “street defence” organisation Britain First, will be competing against the British National Party’s David Furness.
Prince Zylinski is standing as an Independent, with Lee Harris wanting to be London Mayor for the Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol party . Ankit Love — the ‘Love’ candidate — is standing against air pollution in the city, for London to develop its own space program and for London to declare itself a sovereign and independent republic if the UK votes to leave the European Union .
Polling suggests a firm lead for the Labour candidate and Tooting MP Sadiq Khan. Of London adults in the YouGov poll ending on March 20th, 32% said they would vote for Mr Khan, with 25% opting for Mr Goldsmith . The next candidate, UKIP’s Peter Whittle, was on 5%. These figures include 6% who say they would not vote, and 23% say they do not know. Excluding these non-affirmative responses, Sadiq Khan is on 45%, against 36% for Zac Goldsmith — a nine-point lead. This exclusion from the polling result places the UKIP candidate on 7%.
Both YouGov and ComRes have polled Londoners to ask what their priorities are. Housing is the top issue in both recent polls. In the YouGov poll ending on March 20th, 67% said housing should be one of the greatest priorities for the Mayor and the city government. 56% said that housing was one of the “most important challenges facing London today”, in the ComRes poll ending on March 22nd .
It is a challenge for all candidates to match the priorities of their constituents. The mayoral election will be held on 5th May 2016, on the same day as the London Assembly election.
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 CISTA, 2016. Lee Harris. Available from: http://cista.org/candidates/34 [Accessed: 2nd April 2016]
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 YouGov, 2016. London Mayor Results March 2016. Available from: https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/em8yhyeskh/LondonMayoralResults_March16_W.pdf [Accessed: 2nd April 2016]
 BBC, 2016. ComRes London Poll 1st April 2016. Available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/londonpoll1_04_16.pdf [Accessed: 2nd April 2016]