London mayoral race 2020: who is tipped to win?

Sadiq Khan has fewer than 100 days to persuade Londoners to keep him on as mayor for a second term.

The Labour incumbent beat Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith by 56.8% to 43.2% in 2016 and will be hoping to win over the capital again in May.

Here is what you need to know about the 2020 London mayoral election.

When is the election?

London will go to the polls on 7 May, the same day as a string of other elections across the country, including for the mayors of Liverpool and Greater Manchester, and for local authorities in several regions.

Who is in the running?

The Green Party co-leader Sian Berry, who came third in 2016 with 5.8% of the first-round vote, will run again this year. Shaun Bailey, a member of the London Assembly and a former special adviser to David Cameron, will represent the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats, who came fourth four years ago with Caroline Pidgeon, have put forward Siobhan Benita, a former civil servant who ran as an independent in the 2012 London mayor election. Rory Stewart, the former Conservative MP and international development secretary, is also running as an independent.

Other candidates include:

  • Sue Black, Durham University professor, Women’s Equality Party
  • Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers, independent
  • Rosalind Readhead, environmental campaigner, independent
  • Drillminister, London-based rapper, independent
How will the vote work?

The election will use a supplementary vote system, in which each voter has a first- and second-choice vote.

As the London Elects website explains, if a candidate receives more than half of all the first-choice votes they are elected. If this doesn’t happen, the two candidates with the most first-choice votes proceed to a second round. All other candidates are eliminated.

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The second-choice votes of everyone whose first choice has been eliminated are then counted. Any votes for the remaining two candidates are added to their first-round totals. The candidate with the highest combined total of first- and second-choice votes wins.

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What do the bookmakers say?

According to the betting aggregator Oddschecker, Khan is the odds-on favourite at a best price of 1/6. Stewart is in second place at 6/1 and Bailey lags behind in third place at 20/1.

What about the polls?

Early polling from YouGov and Queen Mary University of London gave Khan a 22% lead. The survey of 1,175 people carried out in the first week of November last year put Khan in front on 45%, followed by Bailey on 23% and Stewart on 13%.

Professor Philip Cowley, from Queen Mary, said: “Khan’s satisfaction ratings overall are positive, with more people saying they think he is doing well as Mayor than think he is doing badly. He is still comfortably ahead of the second place candidate in the Mayoral race, and the poll seems to show that he would beat any of his main rivals in the second round, regardless of who they are.”


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