Who is going to be the next mayor of London? Here are a few pointers...

As party conferences roll on, here are the potential and declared Tory and Labour candidates

As the blonde-haired one has formally announced his intention to depart City Hall for an altogether older building on the other side of the river, it’s time to take a look at who could become the next Mayor of London.

The election will be markedly different from previous mayoral battles, with the dominating forces of Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone out of the runnings. In fact, it looks like it’s all to play for, with considerable chance that a Labour mayor could return to City Hall.

There are a plethora of different names from across the political spectrum poised to throw their hats into the ring. None of the big guns have committed yet, but with 21 months to go until the election on 5 May 2016 there is still plenty of time for those who are undecided to make their minds up.

Let’s look at the potential challengers.

Conservatives:

Zac Goldsmith

Zac Goldsmith

First up is Zac Goldsmith. This is the man our incumbent mayor has already indicated his support for. But Goldsmith has been coy over the likelihood of standing for mayor, telling the Telegraph that he isn’t going to stand this time round, although he couldn’t give a “straight answer” about the future.

But Boris said he wasn’t going to run for parliament in 2015, and look what happened. Maybe Goldsmith will take a leaf out of Johnson’s book and change his mind too.

Sebastian Coe

Sebastian Coe

The smooth-talking Olympics organiser is reportedly being wooed by figures including David Cameron to consider running for mayor. Coe has previously ruled out a return to politics, saying he wants to concentrate his efforts on international sporting events. But can the Tory leadership get him to change his mind?

Karren Brady

Karren Brady

Brady was recently made a peer of the realm, but could she juggle that with running London? Or was her induction into the House of Lords specifically engineered by the Tories to help her on her way to becoming mayor? According to the Mirror, Brady could even end up in an electoral duel with Apprentice co-star Lord Alan Sugar, who would be fighting for the red corner.

Phillip Blond

Director of the ResPublica thinktank, Blond was recently overheard discussing his bid for City Hall. According to the Spectator, during a party in Chelsea, “as the evening wore on, Blond began to try to recruit campaign staff.”

Actor Tom Conti

Tom Conti

Earlier this month, actor Tom Conti, star of Shirley Valentine, announced his offer to stand as a candidate for the Conservative party. He said that he was standing “out of rage”, and would offer Londoners cheaper access to exercise and leisure facilities. Can rage carry him all the way to office?

Labour:

Christian Wolmar

Journalist and railway history aficionado Christian Wolmar is one of only two declared mayoral candidates in the 2016 election so far. According to his website WolmarforLondon.co.uk, he says he wants to make London “a city that everyone can live in, afford and enjoy.” He also adds that he is cycling and using public transport during his campaign.

Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott

A YouGov poll put the outspoken Hackney MP at the front of the pack for Labour voters back in June, with 17% saying they’d support her bid. Given the number of established names who could win the Labour nomination, this is no mean feat. However, she has since been overtaken as Labour’s favourite by Sadiq Khan (see below).

Andrew Adonis

Andrew Adonis

Adonis was tipped to run for mayor last year, and there’s not been much in the media about his mayoral aspirations since, although a February BuzzFeed interview with the Labour peer quotes him as saying “I’m really interested in getting an agenda for the next Mayor, whoever that Mayor is.

“It’s too early to declare, it’s still two years away. It’s still too early to make decisions. But it’s never too early to look at what needs to be done.”

That sounds like fightin’ talk if ever we’ve heard it.

Margaret Hodge

Margaret Hodge

Hodge is one of the stars of the Labour front bench, but faced with another five years in opposition perhaps she’ll take a gamble on running Britain’s capital city. Her populist criticism of companies avoiding corporation tax have struck a chord across the political spectrum, and she has not gone far out of her way to dispel rumours of a tilt at the mayoralty, even describing it as “a fantastic job” earlier this summer.

Tessa Jowell

Tessa Jowell

Jowell has already dropped a massive hint that she is going to put herself forward for potential mayoral glory. “Hint” may actually be too strong a word. Here’s what she said in early August after Boris announced his parliamentary bid: “There will be much speculation about candidates; Labour, Tory and other parties. I will certainly be taking this time to prepare my potential offer to Londoners, but this is not a time for formal decision or declaration.”

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan is definitely one to watch – media-savvy and well-liked for his good humour, Khan could easily win over the public. But he is currently keeping his cards close to his chest as Labour focuses on the 2015 general election. The shadow London minister is expected to bask in the glory of a good Labour result in the capital next year – the last local elections were Labour’s best result in the capital since 1998.

David Lammy

David Lammy

The backbench Tottenham MP launched his official mayoral bid a few weeks back. While not as high-profile as some of those in his party, Lammy will benefit from his early entry to the mayoral race. While his front bench colleagues are tied up trying to get Miliband into office, Lammy will have much more time to woo Londoners.

Wild cards

Michael Liebrich

Who is Michael Liebrich and why is he bookmaker Paddy Power’s fourth-placed candidate (in terms of offered odds) in the race to become Mayor of London?

Well Liebrich, who is a former Olympic skier and now an energy consultant, is beating several well-known people thinking of running including Dianne Abbot, Zac Goldsmith and Christian Wolmar. (In fact, Wolmar was the recipient of a tweet sent by Liebrich in June, which read: “I haven’t even declared but I’m ahead of you in the betting.”) Liebrich, who would be a Tory candidate should he declare, is currently among the favourites with 12/1, while Labour hopeful Wolmar is listed at 20/1.

Eddie Izzard

Eddie Izzard

Can the comedian make the jump from comedy to serious politics? With odds of 33/1 Izzard certainly isn’t at the bottom of the bookies’ list. However, he has said that the 2016 election looks an unlikely target for him and has repeatedly said that election in 2020 is what he’s after. Let’s hope he remembers his own words of wisdom from a skit about Robin Hood: “I steal from the rich and give to the poor… I can’t steal from the fairly well-off and give to the moderately impoverished! That’s not gonna swing, is it?”

Others on the list of possibles… include names as diverse as the ever-divisive George Galloway, long-time Labour favourite Alan Johnson, while some of the more out-there names include Richard Littlejohn, Nigel Farage and David Beckham.

 

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