Blog Post

Mayoral candidates tell us why they want London’s top job 

This month marked the 100 days until the elections in London, Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham, which will see nearly 17 million people choosing their city-region mayors. 

Here in London, we’ll be keeping a close watch on the election. The most recent polling has suggested that the incumbent Sadiq Khan would be comfortably ahead on the first round of voting, with Conservative Shaun Bailey in second place. But ten other candidates have announced they’re running and with three months to go before Londoners cast their vote – it is all to play for.

What motivates the candidates who have put themselves forward? Why could they do a better job than the current mayor? We hosted four of the mayoral hopefuls late last year at The London Conference, to hear why they want London’s top job.  

Get to know the candidates… 

Shaun Bailey, Conservative Candidate 

Bailey is a former youth worker who sits on the London Assembly. In this interview, Bailey explains why he wants to run London. The Conservative candidates talks about how he would go about reducing crime and making London safer, the housing crisis and raising funding for City Hall. 

Siobhan Benita, Liberal Democrat Candidate  

Benita is a former Civil Servant and ran in the 2012 mayoral elections as an independent. In this interview, the Lib Dem candidate talks about why she is going for the job of mayor. The conversation covers knife crime, Crossrail delays, pausing on Silvertown Tunnel and tackling inequality. 

Sian Berry, Green Party Candidate 

Berry is a London Assembly Member and co-Leader of the Green Party. She was a Green Party candidate for Mayor of London in 2008 and 2016. In this interview, she talks about why London needs a green mayor. The conversation covers climate change and the environment, resetting the London Plan, the living wage, devolution and reforming the London Assembly. 

Rory Stewart, independent 

Stewart is a former Conservative MP for Penrith and The Border and prison’s minister. Now running as an independent candidate, Stewart talks about why London would benefit from having a politically independent mayor, how he wants to reduce violence, improve commutes, and provide affordable housing. 

Others in the running… 

Those also in the running include computer scientist and Professor Sue Black for the Women’s Equality Party, and environmental campaigner Rosalind Readhead. More recently, London-based rapper Drillminister and David Kurten a former UKIP member of the London Assembly have also put themselves forward. 

The incumbent: Sadiq Khan, Labour Party 

We haven’t seen Khan in campaigning mode yet, but he hopes to serve a second term as Mayor of London. Also speaking at The London Conference, the current mayor was questioned about his record while at City Hall – covering affordable housing, transport, planning and community engagement. 

While Khan currently looks to have a strong lead in the polls, it will be interesting to see how this holds as the campaign heats up. Will the other candidates be snapping at his heels when Londoners eventually cast their vote on the 7th of May? Only time will tell.  


Jo Corfield is Head of Communications at Centre for London. Follow her on Twitter.