London Mayoral Election: The Candidates


I mentioned before that I was going to do this, so I am finally getting around to it! I watched Labours Party Election Broadcast on BBC London, this evening and that reminded me to do this post! I will not be mentioning (apart from in passing) the Assembly Elections, you can look that up yourselves!

First a note on the Electoral System. The System used for the London Mayoral elections (All Mayoral elections in the UK I beleive) is via the Alternative Vote System. This is when no candidate recieves over 50% of the vote, all candidates are eliminated except the top two. Then the second preferences are counted. Who ever has the majority after the second count is elected.

Lets start with the Incumbent:

Ken Livingstone (Labour)

In the Red Corner, Ken is out for relection. He was first elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. After a bust up with Labour before the 2000 election hes back as a Labour candidate this year. Ken has been in office since this post was created so has made it his own. People will have a hard time imagining someone else there. What are Kens Commitments if relected:

* Continue investing to transform London’s transport system – continue improving bus services, modernise the Tube, build Crossrail and improve London rail services through London Overground to raise service and safety standards, while holding down fares

* Continue the six per cent reduction in crime each year – add a further 1,000 police over the next year to London’s existing record police numbers and maintain a dedicated police team in every neighbourhood

*Safeguard the policy that 50 per cent of new homes should be cheaper homes to buy and homes at affordable rents; build a minimum fifty thousand new affordable homes in the next three years

* Introduce 24 hour operation of the Freedom Pass – giving older and disabled Londoners free travel before 9am and throughout the day

* Extend the student travel discount to Oyster One Day Travelcards; maintain free travel for under-18s on the buses

* A £25 a day charge for high carbon-emitting gas guzzlers to enter the central London congestion zone and no charge for the greenest cars, with a London-wide Low Emission Zone to keep the worst polluting lorries out of London

* Maintain good community relations – continue to reduce racist attacks, down more than fifty per cent over eight years

*Youth centres for our young people – a £78m programme to set up youth centres and improve youth services throughout London to provide safe facilities outside school hours

Sound good and are catchy populist vote getters, Crime, Travel etc. Ken has a record of acheivments though. The London Olympics in 2012, the Congestion Charge, Pushing CrossRail among others, but lately hes not doing too well with acusations of improper conduct and the who Lee Jasper thing. Accoding to the latest YouGov poll for the Evening Standard he is on 36%. In the second round he is on 44%.

Link: Ken Livingston campiagn website

The Challenger!

Boris Johnson (Conservative)

In the Blue Corner, Blonde Boris is out for Election! Impartiality goes slightly out the window as I am a Conservative Supporter so will try not to step beyond whats there! Boris is currently MP for Henley and has been in the Conservative Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for the Arts and Shadow Minister of Higher Education.

What are Boris’s Commitments?
That part of the website dosent lend itself easy to synopsis so heres a sample, one from each heading.

* Crime and Safety: We have to work with the police and communities to prevent young Londoners becoming victims of gang violence

* Transport: The bendy bus is unsuitable for London’s streets, they are twice as dangerous as non-articulated buses and have almost three times the rate of fare evasion. I will phase out bendy buses and run a new competition to find a 21st century Routemaster that has full disabled access, runs on clean fuel and has conductors.

* Environment: I will support the Low Emission Zone to improve air quality.

* Housing: We must develop more family-sized homes with gardens, and we need to give more Londoners the chance to own their family home.

Boris seams to be leading in most polls. In todays YouGov poll for the Evening Standard Boris is on 49%, 13 ahead of Ken. In the second round Boris on 56% which means he will have to work on getting those transfers.

Link: Back Boris Johnson

The Also-ran?

Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat)

Brian Paddick served in the London Met for over 30 years so should make a good candidate for Mayor. Unfortunately as the LibDem candidate, he is back in third place in the polling.

What are Brians Commitments for London?

* As Mayor, Brian plans to chair the Metropolitan Police Authority to hold the Metropolitan Police Service to account for its performance in reducing crime. He’s pledged to cut crime in London by 5% every year during his first term.

* Brian will improve London’s overcrowded public transport and increase the reliability of Tube and bus services.

He’ll review how the Tube is managed, following the collapse of Metronet and Labour’s failed PPP project, and allow unlimited changes of bus within an hour for the price of one journey on an Oyster card.

Brian has launched a London-wide rail survey to give rail users a chance to have their say on what needs to be done to improve the system.

* Brian would use money currently spent on temporary accommodation to build new permanent social housing. He would bring unoccupied properties into use and take over redundant land to create more housing without the need to build on London’s precious green spaces.

* Brian will keep the Mayor’s contribution to the council tax down by cutting waste at City Hall to get better value for taxpayers’ money. Ken Livingstone has increased his precept by over 150% since he became Mayor, while spending more on press officers than the Prime Minister.

In the YouGov poll for the Evening Standard Paddick is polling at 10%. The LibDems need to get the led out.

Link: Brian Paddick Campaign Website

The others

A quick run down of the other Mayoral Candidates.

* Richard Barnbrook (BNP)

His concerns are “crime, housing and transport are among the main ones, and these are all aggravated by continual and uncontrolled mass-immigration.”

Link: BNP London

* Gerard Batten MEP (UK Independence Party)

His Key Policy Summary:
* Abolish the London Assembly and replace it with a no-cost Greater London Council. Hold referenda on key issues.
* Crack down on crime to ensure the innocent are protected and the guilty are punished .
* Abolish the Congestion Charge and Emission Charging.
* Keep Council Tax down and give Londoners value for money.
* Review Business Rates. Give businesses a vote in local elections.
* UKIP policy is a freeze on immigration. London homes for Londoners on the housing lists and not newcomers
* Prepare London for the challenges of climate change without punitive “green taxes”.
* Cap the costs of the Olympic Games.

Link: Batten 4 Mayor

* Siân Berry (Green Party)

Her key policies are:
* Free house insulation
* Cutting Tube & Bus Fares
* Affordable housing
* A London living wage
* Stoping airport expansion
* Renewable energy loans

Link: Sian Berry

* Alan Craig (Christian Peoples Alliance and Christian Party)

His policies are:
* Back families and marriage
* Reject the Olympics Mega Mosque
* More affordable homes
* End the culture of youth violence
* Tackle inequality with more jobs

Link: The Christian Choice

* Lindsey German (Left List)
Policy Page its too long to shorten down.

Link: Lindsey 4 London

* Winston McKenzie (Independent)

His policies are in Rhyme I hate to ruin it for you. Read it yourself….

Link: McKenzie for Mayor

* Matt O’Connor (English Democrats)

His pledges:

* Defending Liberty, Privacy & Democracy:
* Protecting Londoners
* Strengthening Families
* Repairing Communities

Link: English Democrats

There you have 10 candidates but its really between two of them. The transfers will decide it though so watch who the others endorse. I know the Greens have endorsed Ken, and the BNP, Boris (not really a vote getter!). Anyone know others?

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Source:
London Elects
BBC London Election Page
Boris’s lead grows to 13 points UK Polling Report

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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