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London Mayoral Elections 2016: Housing and transport set to dominate debates

London Mayoral Elections 2016: Housing and transport set to dominate debates

James Sloan, Dods Monitoring | Dods Monitoring

3 min read Partner content

Dods Monitoring has published a briefing on this year’s London Mayoral Elections, predicting second preference votes are set to make the difference.

The candidates

After eight years in office, Boris Johnson is vacating City Hall to focus on his role as an MP, and on 5th May Londoners will go to the polls to elect his replacement.

Conservative MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith will be hoping to use his independent streak to win the votes of Londoners previously wooed by Boris. Meanwhile, Tooting MP Sadiq Khan will want to repeat Labour’s strong performance in the capital at the 2015 General Election.

London bucked the national trend in May 2015, with Labour receiving 44 per cent of the vote, with the Conservatives second on 35 per cent.

But with a different electoral system in place the contest may not be quite as clear cut with second preferences votes making a difference.

Both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats polled eight per cent apiece last May, with the Green’s managing five per cent.

The Green Party will be hoping to maintain the third position spot in the mayoral contest, as they did in 2012.

But with London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon fighting for the Liberal Democrats, the party will hope her in-depth knowledge of politics in the Assembly will help propel the party back into third position.

The policies

Housing and transport are set to dominate the debates between candidates, with the ever-looming decision on airport expansion likely to play a part too.

Goldsmith has promised to double home building to 50,000 a year by 2020, whilst Khan wants a target of 50 per cent affordable housing in any new development.

With support from both main candidates for Crossrail 2, the challenge will be to find the additional resources to fund the project, whilst balancing the daily cost of transport fares in the capital.

All candidates are espousing their green credentials with Khan suggesting Oxford Street should be pedestrianised, and Goldsmith wanting to enforce tougher rules on HGVs.

Whilst not within the auspices of the mayor, both Labour and Conservative candidates have been vocal in their opposition to expansion at Heathrow. Green candidate Sian Berry has even suggested replacing London City Airport with a new housing and business development.

Londoners are likely to elect an outspoken opponent to Heathrow expansion; and with a fresh electoral mandate the prime minister and transport secretary may yet find more hurdles over plans to expand airport capacity in the south east.

The next mayor will also be hoping to benefit from the Chancellor’s Northern Powerhouse plans.

As cities such as Manchester gain additional powers, including over health and taxation, the new resident of City Hall may want to expand the power the mayor has over spending taxes raised in the city.

The Dods Monitoring briefing on London Mayoral Candidates 2016 can be viewed here.

To learn more about the London Mayoral and Assembly election, see hereor contact Dods Monitoring political consultant James Sloan at James.Sloan@dods.co.uk or on 0207 593 5700

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