2020 London mayoral election

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2020 London mayoral election
← 2016 On or before 7 May 2020 2024 →
  Sadiq Khan November 2016.jpg Shaun Bailey.jpg Siân Berry, 2018 (cropped).jpg
Candidate Sadiq Khan Shaun Bailey Siân Berry
Party Labour Conservative Green

Boroughs of Greater London

Incumbent Mayor

Sadiq Khan

The next London mayoral election will be held on 7 May 2020, to elect the Mayor of London.[1] 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.[2] Mayors are elected for a period of four years, with no limit to the number of terms served.[3]

Incumbent Sadiq Khan, a member of the Labour Party, was elected in the 2016 election, defeating the candidate of the Conservative Party, Zac Goldsmith.

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.[4] 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.[5]

Electoral system[edit]

The election will use a supplementary vote system, in which voters express a first and a second preference for candidates.[6]

  • 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.[7]

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.[8]


Incumbent mayor Sadiq Khan announced in June 2018 that he intended to stand for re-election.[9] 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.[10][11] 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.[10]

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.[12][13] Bailey is set to be the first Conservative candidate for Mayor of London not to have previously served as a Member of Parliament.[14] In the weeks after his selection, Bailey was criticised for having shared material describing Khan as "mad mullah Khan of Londonistan",[15] as well as remarks he had made previously about Muslims and Hindus,[16] single mothers,[17] and linking access to contraceptives and abortion services with crime.[18] He will also be the first Conservative mayoral candidate to also stand in the concurrent London Assembly election.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21]

Siobhan Benita was selected to be the Liberal Democrat candidate on 21 November 2018.[22][23] 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.[24]

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.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]


Labour Party[edit]

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.[28] Comedian Eddie Izzard and Tottenham MP David Lammy had previously been suggested as potential candidates.[29]

Conservative Party[edit]

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.[30][31]

The party had started the process for selecting their candidate in June 2018.[32][33] The Guardian reported that more than twenty prospective candidates applied, mostly from local government. A longlist of ten was published in July 2018.[10] Following interviews, the party produced a shortlist of three for London members of the Conservative Party to vote on[34] using a preferential voting system.[31] To vote, members had to reside in London and have been members on 26 June 2018.[10][35]

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.[36][37]

Conservative London mayoral candidate selection [31]
Party Candidate 1st round 2nd round
 First round votes  Transfer votes 
Total Of round Transfers Total Of round
Conservative Shaun Bailey 3,164 43.2% 740 3,904 55.1%
Conservative Andrew Boff 2,591 35.4% 595 3,186 45.9%
Conservative Joy Morrissey 1,566 21.4%
Selection process


Longlisted but not shortlisted

Applied but not longlisted

Previously discussed as potential candidates

Green Party[edit]

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.[56][57] 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.[57][58]

Liberal Democrats[edit]

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.[22][59][60][23] 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.[61][22][62][63] 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.[64]

Liberal Democrat London mayoral candidate selection [31]
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
  • Azi Ahmed, author, entrepreneur and Conservative candidate for Rochdale at the 2015 general election[65]
  • Kishan Devani, former Deputy Chairman of the London Conservative Party and Conservative candidate for Leicester East at the 2015 general election[65]
  • Rachel Johnson, editor, journalist, television presenter and author; sister of former mayor Boris Johnson (joined Change UK in 2019)[66]

Other candidates[edit]


Opinion polls[edit]

Pollster/client(s) Date(s)
Sample size First preference Final round
Khan Bailey Berry Benita Others Lead Khan Bailey Lead
YouGov/QMUL[70] 7–10 May 2019 1,015 43% 23% 16% 10% 8% 20% 64% 36% 28%
YouGov/QMUL[71] 3–6 December 2018 1,020 55% 28% 7%[a] 4% 6% 27% 62% 38% 24%


  1. ^ The poll question included Siân Berry as the Green Party candidate, even though she had not been selected at that time.


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "What the Mayor of London and the London Assembly Do". londonelects.org.uk. London Elects. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Q&A: London mayoral and London Assembly elections 2012". BBC News. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  4. ^ Apostolova, Vyara; et al. (29 January 2018). General Election 2017: full results and analysis (PDF). Commons Briefing Papers: CBP-7979. House of Commons Library. Summary.
  5. ^ "Lib Dems top London European vote". 2019-05-27. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  6. ^ "How to Vote". London Elects. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  7. ^ Elledge, Jonnk (2 May 2012). "London Elections: How The Voting System Works". The Londonist. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  8. ^ "How to Register to Vote". London Elects. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Sadiq Khan will run for London Mayor again in 2020". ITV News. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wearmouth, Rachel (14 September 2018). "Sadiq Khan sees off threat to his bid for re-election as London Mayor". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  11. ^ Dallison, Paul (14 September 2018). "Sadiq Khan will be Labour candidate in next London mayoral race". POLITICO. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  12. ^ Proctor, Kate (5 July 2018). "Favourite for Tory mayor ticket: Sadiq fuels feeling of being unsafe". Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  13. ^ Staff writer (18 September 2018). "Tory Mayor hopeful Shaun Bailey: send thugs carrying acid straight to jail". Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Conservatives pick final three candidates for 2020 mayoral election". ITV News. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  15. ^ Watts, Joe (27 September 2018). "Conservative candidate for London Mayor embroiled in new Sadiq Khan Islamophobia row". The Independent. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  16. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (3 October 2018). "Tory London mayoral pick under fire for remarks about Muslims and Hindus". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Tory criticised for 'single mother' comments". BBC News. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  18. ^ Bienkov, Adam (11 October 2018). "Conservative mayor candidate Shaun Bailey: Condoms and abortion services push young people into crime". Business Insider. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  19. ^ Rogers, Alexandra (26 November 2018). "Shaun Bailey to stand in London Assembly elections despite mayoral bid". City AM. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  20. ^ Walker, Peter (14 February 2019). "Green party's Siân Berry to run for London mayor again in 2020". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Green Party chooses mayoral candidate". BBC News. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  22. ^ a b c Murphy, Joe (17 September 2018). "Siobhan Benita: Second Mayor bid will address 'unfinished business'". Evening Standard.
  23. ^ a b Lib Dem Press Office [@LibDemPress] (21 November 2018). "We are delighted to announce that @SiobhanBenita will be the @LibDems candidate for the London Mayoral elections in May 2020, and will lead the campaign for the London Assembly elections" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ Osley, Richard (29 November 2018). "Mayor too weak on knife crime, warns Lib Dem challenger Siobhan Benita". Camden New Journal.
  25. ^ Pickard, Jim (30 August 2018). "Nigel Farage considers running for London mayor". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  26. ^ "London mayoral election: Brexit can help me beat Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey". The Independent. 2019-05-28. Retrieved 2019-06-17.
  27. ^ https://www.standard.co.uk/the-cannabis-debate-make-drug-legal-says-lib-dem-mayoral-hopeful-siobhan-benita-a4209711.html
  28. ^ Eaton, George (14 September 2018). "Sadiq Khan reselected as Labour's London mayoral candidate after winning party ballot". New Statesman. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  29. ^ a b c Wood, Richard (22 September 2017). "Top 7 favourites to win the 2020 London Mayoral contest: can Khan win?". hitc.com. Here Is The City.
  30. ^ Zeffman, Henry (29 September 2018). "Tories choose ex-youth worker Shaun Bailey to take on London mayor Sadiq Khan". The Times. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  31. ^ a b c d Proctor, Kate (28 September 2018). "Tories choose Shaun Bailey for mayoral candidate to take on Sadiq". Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  32. ^ Elgot, Jessica (1 June 2018). "Justine Greening tipped as Tory candidate for London mayor". The Guardian.
  33. ^ Neilan, Catherine (18 June 2018). "Tories open London mayoral candidacy to all - except die-hard Remainers". City AM. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  34. ^ a b c Crerar, Pippa (3 July 2018). "Top Tories shy away from 2020 London mayoral race". The Guardian.
  35. ^ Phibbs, Harry (23 July 2018). "What the London Mayoral selection short-list tells us. And what the successful candidate should do". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  36. ^ ES Comment (18 September 2018). "Evening Standard comment: We back Shaun Bailey as the Tory mayoral candidate; Snapping the seven-ups". Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  37. ^ Murphy, Joe (7 September 2018). "Police chiefs back Tory mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey to solve crime". Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  38. ^ a b c "London mayoral race: Tories shortlist three candidates". BBC News. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  39. ^ Murphy, Joe (8 June 2018). "Stephen Lawrence's friend Duwayne Brooks calls for Sadiq Khan to quit over violence surge". Evening Standard.
  40. ^ Murphy, Joe (29 June 2018). "Ex-West End actor declares dream to be Mayor as first official Tory candidate". Evening Standard. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  41. ^ a b Elliott, Matthew (9 May 2018). "Elections over, the Tories must find their next London mayor". City AM. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  42. ^ Shipman, Tim (3 June 2018). "London mayoral election: Male, pale and stale candidates off the list". The Times.
  43. ^ Bennett, Owen (4 July 2018). "Tory MP who thinks EU passports are a national humiliation wants to be London Mayor". HuffPost.
  44. ^ Diary (5 July 2018). "The Londoner: Mercer takes aim at 'Private Pike'". Evening Standard.
  45. ^ a b Bennett, Owen (29 June 2018). "Brexit 'Bad Boy' Richard Tice puts himself forward to be Tory candidate for London Mayor". HuffPost. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  46. ^ a b Wearmouth, Rachel (26 June 2018). "Justine Greening rules herself out of race to be next London Mayor". HuffPost.
  47. ^ a b c Hughes, Laura (5 May 2018). "London election results allow Tories to dream of being mayor". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  48. ^ Bush, Stephen (2 July 2018). "Everyone wins from a James Cleverly mayoral bid – including Sadiq Khan". New Statesman.
  49. ^ Casalicchio, Emilio (7 August 2015). "Sol Campbell sets sights on 2020 London mayoral election". Politics Home. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  50. ^ a b Le Conte, Marie (23 April 2018). "Tories eye race to take on Sadiq Khan". Politico Europe.
  51. ^ a b Crerrar, Pippa (4 October 2017). "London Tories 'eyeball' PM as they plan unit to take on Labour". Evening Standard.
  52. ^ a b Crerar, Pippa (26 June 2018). "Tory Justine Greening rules herself out of London mayoral race". The Guardian.
  53. ^ Murphy, Joe (2 October 2017). "'Tories must modernise or we'll lose every safe seat in London'". Evening Standard.
  54. ^ Hope, Christopher (7 December 2017). "George Osborne refuses to rule out a return to public life as an MP or London Mayor". The Telegraph.
  55. ^ Dale, Iain (22 September 2017). "Tory MP does not rule out standing against Sadiq Khan over Uber ruling". LBC.
  56. ^ London Green Party [@LonGreenParty] (28 November 2018). "Today we opened nominations to be our Green Party candidates for the Mayor and Assembly in 2020. We aim to run our strongest campaign ever to make London an equitable and sustainable city for all. Please consider standing for mayor or for the Assembly list" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  57. ^ a b "Green Party reveals full list of runners for London Mayoral and Assembly spots". greenparty.org.uk. The Green Party. 14 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  58. ^ Other citations:
  59. ^ Shapland, Mark (27 September 2018). "Ebookers founder Dinesh Dhamija bids to be Liberal Democrat Mayor". Evening Standard.
  60. ^ The Voice (30 July 2018). "London Liberal Democrats announce timetable for GLA/Assembly selections, positive action for BAME candidates". libdemvoice.org. Liberal Democrat Voice.
  61. ^ Pack, Mark (17 October 2018). "Lib Dem shortlist for London Mayor and GLA list published". markpack.org.uk. Mark Pack.
  62. ^ Blackie, Rob [@robblackie] (8 October 2018). "I'm delighted to have made the shortlist for Lib Dem Mayor of London candidate, as well as the GLA shortlist. I believe London should be a city of opportunity for everyone, and that the most important job the mayor should be doing right now is fighting Brexit" (Tweet). Retrieved 9 October 2018 – via Twitter.
  63. ^ Bush, Stephen (15 June 2018). "Why are the Liberal Democrats celebrating defeat in Lewisham East?". New Statesman.
  64. ^ Pack, Mark (21 November 2018). "Lib Dems announce Siobhan Benita as London Mayoral candidate". markpack.org.uk. Mark Pack.
  65. ^ a b Cecil, Nicholas; Murphy, Joe (9 March 2018). "Lib Dems wooing EU voters in 21 languages for town hall elections". Evening Standard. p. 2.
  66. ^ Revesz, Rachael (30 April 2017). "Boris Johnson's sister Rachel could run to be London mayor - for the Lib Dems". The Independent.
  67. ^ https://bcswomen.bcs.org/womens-equality-party-announces-interim-leader-and-london-mayoral-candidate/
  68. ^ Tovey, Alan (25 June 2018). "Pimlico Plumbers' Charlie Mullins to run for London Mayor on 'common sense' ticket". The Telegraph.
  69. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/23/nissan-refuses-government-request-on-qashqai-emissions
  70. ^ "Labour Brexit fallout hits Sadiq Khan's Mayor of London bid". Evening Standard. 2019-05-14. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  71. ^ Murphy, Joe (11 December 2018). "Sadiq 'enters mayor race with commanding lead over Tory rival'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 December 2018.