The London Mayoral election is TOMORROW on Thursday 5th May. We’ve done our research: read their manifestos, had a nosey at their past history and tried to find out who would be the most sustainable mayor (in our most humble opinion).
Firstly, who is running? Well, the 4 main candidates are:
Zac Goldsmith, Sadiq Khan, Caroline Pidgeon & Sian Berry.
Conservative Candidate – Zac Goldsmith
Goldsmith has a history as an outspoken environmentalist. He was previously the editor of the Ecologist magazine, has voiced his opposition to the expansion of Heathrow and consistently voted against fracking. He is however, one of the key figures supporting the BREXIT campaign (a very unsustainable move in our eyes re: climate change).
In his policies, he vows to protect greenbelt land around the city, and to build at least 50,000 new homes every year by 2020 …that sounds great, but will we be able to buy these homes? Probably not. Maybe we should just invest in a tent for that greenbelt then.
Labour Candidate: Sadiq Khan
Khan is a human rights solicitor by trade, so hopefully he’s a pretty decent guy. He’s pledged to plant 2 million trees in the city if he’s elected, and wants to ban fracking in the capital. However, he is a big advocate of building a new runway at Gatwick, which will significantly contribute to our already illegal air pollution levels.
His manifesto also outlines his plan to build 80,000 homes a year: with at least 50% of them deemed “affordable”, and to freeze TfL fares for 4 years…. he believes this will cost £450m, but TfL reckon will be closer to £1.9b. Hmmmm.
LibDem Candidate: Caroline Pidgeon
Pidgeon unfortunately wasn’t the genius behind Pidgeon Air, but she does want to switch all buses and taxis to Electric Vehicles and introduce new congestion charging & parking costs to relieve air pollution. As with the other contenders, she has some ‘interesting’ ideas about TfL fares, and plans to build 200,000 new homes (but only 50,000 will be deemed ‘affordable’).
Caroline has been a London Assembly member since 2008, and before that was a Southwark Borough Councillor for 12 years… so she might already know a thing or two about the city.
Green Party Candidate: Sian Berry
Berry has been involved in Party and London politics since 2002, and over the years has been an activist for many sustainability topics; including climate change, GM foods, sustainable transport and Fair Pay. She previously ran for Mayor in 2008, coming 4th with just 3.15% of the vote.
Her manifesto suggests some radical moves: such as shutting City Airport and redeveloping it; establishing a renters union to combat private landlords; and introducing flat fares across all london travel zones. Feasible? Unsure. Bold? Absolutely. We like bold.
So, what about other people’s opinions then? Well Friends of the Earth reviewed the top 4 contenders on 10 key green policies, concluding the following:
Meanwhile, Sustrans contacted the same 4 about their cycling policies, the answers from which we’ve given the following scores:
All in all, it’s unsurprising that Sian Berry off of the Green Party is the most sustainable-looking candidate. If air pollution and safe cycling are top on your priority list to make London a better city it looks like votes will be in for a Mayoress! You Go Girls!
For the full list of candidates to consider (as it’s not just the 4 we’ve outlined above), please see below. Happy voting!!
- Zac Goldsmith, Conservatives
- Sadiq Khan, Labour
- Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrats
- Sian Berry, Green Party
- George Galloway, Respect
- Winston McKenzie, English Democrats
- David Furness, BNP
- Jonathan Silbermann, Communist League
- Paul Golding, Britain First
- Sophie Walker, Women’s Equality Party
- Lee Harris, Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol
- Paul Tavares, Independent
- Rosalind Redhead, Independent (Ban Private Cars In London)
- John (Janek) Zylinski, Independent
- Upkar Singh Raj, National Liberal Part
Please remember that voting takes place TOMORROW on Thursday 5th May between 7am – 10pm. Find your nearest polling station here.
How to Vote:
You will get 3 polling cards: 1 pink, 1 yellow, and 1 orange.
On the pink one, make your mark for your FIRST Mayoral choice in Column A, AND your SECOND choice in Column B (this vote is first past the post).
On the yellow slip, choose who you want to represent your constituency on the London Assembly (again, first past the post).
On the orange slip, choose who you want to represent London as a whole on the London Assembly (this vote is proportional representation).