2020 London mayoral election
Boroughs of Greater London
The next London mayoral election will be held on 7 May 2020, to elect the Mayor of London. It will occur simultaneously with the elections for the London Assembly. The position of Mayor of London is currently held by Sadiq Khan of the Labour Party, who was elected in 2016 with 44.2% of the first-round votes.
The Mayor of London has a range of responsibilities covering policing, transport, housing, planning, economic development, arts, culture and the environment, controlling a budget of around £17 billion per year. Mayors are elected for a period of four years, with no limit to the number of terms served.
Since the previous mayoral election, Labour has won a majority of the vote in London and more than two-thirds of the parliamentary seats in the city during the 2017 general election, while the Conservative Party won a plurality of the vote nationally. In the May 2019 European Parliament elections, the Liberal Democrats won the most votes in the London region with 27% and 3 MEPs, the Labour Party won 24% of the vote and ended up with 2 MEPs.
- If a candidate receives more than 50% of the first preference vote, that candidate wins.
- If no candidate receives an overall majority, more than 50% of first preference votes, the top two candidates proceed to a second round and all other candidates are eliminated.
- The first preference votes for the remaining two candidates stand in the final count.
- Voters' ballots whose first and second preference candidates are eliminated are discarded.
- Voters whose first preference candidates have been eliminated and whose second preference candidate is one of the top two have their second preference votes added to that candidate's count.
This means that the winning candidate has the support of a majority of voters who expressed a preference among the top two.
All registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) living in London aged 18 or over on 7 May 2020 will be entitled to vote in the mayoral election. Those who are temporarily away from London (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) will also be entitled to vote in the mayoral election. The deadline to register to vote in the election will be announced nearer the election.
Incumbent mayor Sadiq Khan announced in June 2018 that he intended to stand for re-election. Later that year, he was automatically re-selected to be Labour's candidate after receiving sufficient nominations from local party groups and affiliated trade unions to avoid an open selection. His re-selection followed speculation that a figure from the left of his party could challenge him for the candidacy given Khan's disagreements with national party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The Conservative Party selected Shaun Bailey as its candidate in September 2018. In his selection, he emphasised fighting crime, and proposed "maximising" CCTV coverage of London as an alternative to increasing the number of police officers, as well as automatic jail terms for those who commit acid attacks. Bailey is set to be the first Conservative candidate for Mayor of London not to have previously served as a Member of Parliament. In the weeks after his selection, Bailey was criticised for having shared material describing Khan as "mad mullah Khan of Londonistan", as well as remarks he had made previously about Muslims and Hindus, single mothers, and linking access to contraceptives and abortion services with crime. He will also be the first Conservative mayoral candidate to also stand in the concurrent London Assembly election.
The Green Party chose Siân Berry, who had previously been their mayoral candidate in the 2008 and 2016 elections, to represent them in February 2019. She launched her campaign with a focus on housing, calling for a "people's land bank" to give communities more control over unused land and buildings.
Siobhan Benita was selected to be the Liberal Democrat candidate on 21 November 2018. Benita ran as an independent candidate in the 2012 London mayoral election, coming fifth with 3.8% of the first preference votes, behind fourth-placed Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick, who received 4.2%. Benita criticised Khan's response to knife crime in London.
Former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage announced in August 2018 that he was considering running as the UKIP candidate, claiming that he would be more successful than the Conservatives. However, he subsequently left UKIP.
The May 2019 European Parliament elections saw the Liberal Democrats get the most votes in London. Benita argued this was an "excellent springboard" for her campaign, also pointing out Bailey's support for Brexit. In August 2019, she supported calls for the decriminalisation of cannabis. She also said that her campaign priorities are around knife crime and serious violence, air quality and the environment, more affordable housing, and opposing Brexit.
Incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan became Labour's candidate after more than half of local parties and party affiliates in London voted to automatically reselect him. Comedian Eddie Izzard and Tottenham MP David Lammy had previously been suggested as potential candidates.
Shaun Bailey was selected as the candidate of the Conservative Party in September 2018. Bailey has been a member of the London Assembly since 2016, having previously worked as a youth worker and as a special adviser to David Cameron.
The party had started the process for selecting their candidate in June 2018. The Guardian reported that more than twenty prospective candidates applied, mostly from local government. A longlist of ten was published in July 2018. Following interviews, the party produced a shortlist of three for London members of the Conservative Party to vote on using a preferential voting system. To vote, members had to reside in London and have been members on 26 June 2018.
Bailey had been endorsed in the party's selection process by the Evening Standard, as well as Conservative Police and Crime Commissioners Anthony Stansfeld, David Lloyd, Matthew Scott and Roger Hirst.
|Conservative London mayoral candidate selection |
|Party||Candidate||1st round||2nd round|
First round votes Transfer votes
|Total||Of round||Transfers||Total||Of round|
Longlisted but not shortlisted
Applied but not longlisted
Previously discussed as potential candidates
Green Party co-leader and London Assembly member Siân Berry was announced as the party's mayoral candidate on 14 February 2019. She had previous been the party's candidate for mayor of London in 2008 when she came fourth with 3.2% of the first preference vote, and in 2016 when she came third with 5.8% of the first preference vote. Nominations had opened in November 2018 and closed in January 2019, with four candidates duly nominated. The other nominated candidates were former deputy leader and candidate for parliament, the London Assembly and European Parliament Shahrar Ali, actor and former Liberal Democrat London Assembly and council candidate Zack Polanski, and former senior civil servant, general election candidate and London Assembly candidate Peter Underwood.
The former senior civil servant and 2012 independent candidate for Mayor Siobhan Benita was selected to be the Liberal Democrat candidate on 21 November 2018. The other shortlisted candidates were anti-Brexit campaigner and former and 2020 London Assembly candidate Rob Blackie, Ebookers founder Dinesh Dhamija, and former parliamentary candidate, consultant and 2020 London Assembly candidate Lucy Salek. Benita came first among first preferences, but with less than half the votes. After last-placed Lucy Salek was eliminated and second preferences among her voters tallied, Benita had a majority of the votes cast and was chosen as the party's candidate.
|Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate selection |
|Party||Candidate||1st round||2nd round|
First round votes Transfer votes
|Total||Of round||Transfers||Total||Of round|
|Liberal Democrat||Siobhan Benita||1,548||46.2%||223||1,771||54.2%||
|Liberal Democrat||Rob Blackie||614||18.3%||169||783||24.0%||
|Liberal Democrat||Dinesh Dhamija||614||18.3%||98||712||21.8%||
|Liberal Democrat||Lucy Salek||576||17.2%||
|Previously discussed as potential candidates|
- Sue Black, computer scientist, professor at Durham University, and social entrepreneur, for the Women's Equality Party
- Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers
- Rosalind Readhead, independent, campaigning on environmental issues
|Sample size||First preference||Final round|
|YouGov/QMUL||7–10 May 2019||1,015||43%||23%||16%||10%||8%||20%||64%||36%||28%|
|YouGov/QMUL||3–6 December 2018||1,020||55%||28%||7%[a]||4%||6%||27%||62%||38%||24%|
- The poll question included Siân Berry as the Green Party candidate, even though she had not been selected at that time.
- That date, the first Thursday in May in the fourth calendar year following that in which the previous ordinary election was held, is prescribed by section 4 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, and (under the same section) may be varied by an Order of the Secretary of State.
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