With almost 150 days until Londoners cast their votes for their choice as the next London Mayor, eight candidates have entered the race, with more almost certain to join as May 7th draws closer.
So who is in the running and what do the polls say about who might run the capital for the next four years?
Sadiq Khan – Labour
Sadiq Khan is the incumbent Mayor of London and the Labour candidate for the 2020 election. Formerly the MP for Tooting, Khan served briefly as Transport Minister under Gordon Brown and is described as being on the centre-left of the Labour Party.
Whilst in office, Khan has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump and Brexit for its effect on the capital, launched the Night Tube service on the London Underground and backed plans to expand London City Airport.
However, Khan has come under criticism for an increase in knife crime in London, with more than 15,000 offences reported in the city so far this year.
Shaun Bailey – Conservatives
Shaun Bailey is a Conservative member of the London Assembly and was selected as the Tory candidate for London Mayor last year.
Bailey is fighting his campaign of making London safer for residents, calling for more police on the streets and taking a zero-tolerance approach towards gang activity.
However, he has faced controversy over remarks he made in the past, referring to Sadiq Khan as the mayor of ‘Londonistan’ in a tweet in 2017.
Sian Berry – Green Party
Sian Berry is co-leader of the Green Party and leader of the party in the London Assembly. She also ran for the position of London Mayor in 2016, coming third with 5.8 percent.
As well as calling for greater action on cleaner air in the capital, she opposes further airport expansion and the introduction of rent controls.
Siobhan Benita – Liberal Democrats
Siobhan Benita is a former civil servant who previously ran for London Mayor as an independent in 2012, before joining the Liberal Democrats shortly after the EU referendum.
One of her main campaign points is to address inequality in the capital, which she claims is at the heart of many of the city’s problems and has led to a rise in homelessness.
Rory Stewart – Independent
Rory Stewart is the current independent MP for Penrith and the Border, resigning from the Conservative Party earlier this month. He ran for the Conservative leadership this year and was notable for his unique style of campaigning.
Stewart has positioned himself as a compromise candidate, willing to listen to people from across the capital to come up with a plan to transform London for the better.
However, he has come under some criticism for expressing his support for the Prime Minister’s new Brexit deal, particularly given London’s support for Remain in the EU referendum.
Sue Black – Women’s Equality Party
Sue Black is a computer scientist, professor at Durham University and activist, most notable for the Saving Bletchley Park campaign.
The Women’s Equality Party, which campaigns for equal rights and opportunities for women, came sixth at the last mayoral election with two percent.
Rosalind Readhead – Independent
Rosalind Readhead is an environmental activist, who has spent five years campaigning for private cars to be banned from London.
Her campaign focuses on the climate emergency and demands a hierarchy for energy use, regular car-free days to cut emissions and free trees for every garden. Readhead also supports a ban on automation in motor vehicles and the introduction of a universal basic income.
Charlie Mullins – Independent
Charlie Mullins is a businessman and the founder of the London-based plumbing firm Pimlico Plumbers. The company attracted national attention last year displaying a ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ sign at its premises in Waterloo.
Mullins was a former Conservative Party donor until 2018, when he announced his plans to fund the Liberal Democrats to try and stop Brexit and his intention to run as a candidate in the London mayoral election.
He has pledged he would make travel free for all registered apprentices under the age of 25, as well as basing an ambassador for London in Brussels.
Other potential candidates
A selection of other political parties have run for London Mayor in the past but have yet to announce their candidate for the election, most notably the Brexit Party. Their intention to run could depend on the status of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The most recent opinion poll for the mayoral election gives Labour a strong lead of 22 percent ahead of the Conservatives. Rory Stewart is set for third, with the Liberal Democrats and the Greens pushed back to fourth and fifth respectively.
In the second round projection, Labour are set to comfortably beat the Conservatives and retain the mayoralty.