Five London mayor 2012 favourites
On May 3, 2012, Londoners will head to the polls and vote for the capital’s next mayor. Recumbent mayor Boris Johnson has had his ups and downs, but can he be dethroned?
5. Siobhan Benita, independent 200/1 (Ladbrokes)
If we’re honest, the mayoral race is normally a two-horse race. It’ll be a miracle if independent candidate Benita gets anywhere near City Hall. That said she could prove to be a popular choice as she has promised to freeze fares if she makes it into office. The former Whitehall worker is no politician though and her “safe, clean and vibrant” vision for the capital isn’t exactly revolutionary.
4. Jenny Jones, Green Party 200/1 (Paddy Power); 100/1 (Ladbrokes)
Jones’ political stock has been rising over the last few years and she’s put herself about in the media which can’t harm her chances. Her main ideas centre around the economy and “making the City work for London”.
Fighting talk about getting tough on bankers and creating jobs is bound to win friends in an election year but there seems little real substance to her lightweight manifesto (which she promises will be beefed up this spring – better late than never). Can her other pledge about improving animal welfare strike a chord with the voters and bring her to power? I doubt it.
3. Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrats 80/1 (Coral); 50/1 (Sporting Bet)
Paddick is certainly no stranger to most Londoners. The openly gay and oft outspoken Lib Dem wants to make London safer; hardly surprising when you’re a former Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner. But last year’s riots have got many people in the big smoke anxious about hoodies and knife crime and gangs. He could be onto a winner.
However, he finished a country mile behind Boris and Ken in 2008, grabbing just 9.63% of the vote.
2. Boris Johnson, Conservative 8/13 fav (Coral); 1/2 fav (Sky Bet)
Johnson needs little introduction because he’s been running London for the last four years. Many say he’s done a good job in difficult circumstances; he’s kept taxes in check and will always go down as the mayor who successfully managed the Olympic dream. Equally, many say he doesn’t always keep his promises; just look at rising transport fares and his well-spun claims about crime rates.
The polls show this year’s race with Red Ken is closer than ever. With the Evening Standard on his side and a high turnout in south east London, Johnson could scrape another term. But it certainly won’t be a walk in the Royal Park.
1. Ken Livingstone, Labour 6/4 (Bet365); 11/8 (888 Sport)
Red Ken is not your typical politician who strives for votes by being warm, friendly and affable. He probably doesn’t like shaking people’s hands much. In fact, many could see his aloofness as detrimental to his mayoral campaign. But the man has experience at playing Mayor and resided in City Hall before Boris showed up. There are signs that London is tiring of Boris and Ken is ready to pounce.
Livingstone has promised to cut transport fares and his own salary if he gets in. Where he finds the money is anybody’s guess but it could be vote winner.