please empty your brain below

Caroline's got the experience, but always comes across very poorly in the media. I don't think she's got the Right Stuff to step up to the role of mayor. An excellent and capable assembly member, I was her a long career there. But she couldn't sell herself as mayor for me. It's a bit unfair, but the role is PR as much as anything else and she's a total flop there. Plus - and this is uncharacteristic for her - she's come across as simply unprepared at some of the media events I've seen.

I did let the LDs have my assembly vote though. Caroline's always good at mayor's question time.
Unfortunately for me its a no to all the candidates as none of them has a realistic airports policy. They all try to outdo each other on how much they HATE Heathrow, even though its the only logical option for expansion/third runway. I say this as someone who lives near Heathrow. Also, I think anyone who wants to pedestrianize Oxford Street needs to have their head examined, as it would destroy the bus network through central London, IMHO.

Other than that, I take issue with Sadiq's wishy washy explanation for how he's gonna fund his fares freeze, no matter how many times he repeats his talking point that "TFL is good but flabby". I also don't care for how he begins every sentence with "My dad was a bus driver" and "I grew up on a council estate".

Zac is obviously running a pretty racist/desperate campaign, plus he comes off as a poshboy who inherited richness from his daddy and is a low achiever.

Caroline is alright I think, probably my favourite if it wasn't for Heathrow and somewhat gimmicky "Half fares before 7:30" which just complicates fares even more.

==============RANT OVER===============
If you are not one of those people who is prepared to shut down your brain, and wholeheartedly support a corrupt tired old party, or a naive confused new party, why have a mayor at all.

It must be possible to introduce a secure electronic voting system, so that the public themselves can choose on all these issues, cut out the middle man, he is only in it to get rich at your expense.
Rather like Elshad above, I do not like any of the candidates. It is a very disappointing line up.
London ran OK before we had an elected Mayor.Waste of money really.
However although I have never voted Liberal before I think Caroline is the best of a bad bunch, someone has to tackle the diesel car pollution.

I foresee two awful possible scenarios.
One, Sadiq Khan becomes London Mayor.
Two, UK leaves Europe.

My nightly nightmare.
There can be unintended consequences with this voting system though. The Tories are always more likely to stick to their man as first preference, and the more left of centre to vote with their heart first and head second. So you could have a situation where Sadiq has a majority of second place votes, but doesn't qualify for the two person run-off.
Good for you DG. My initial thoughts were the same but I opted (maybe gutlessly) for voting to keep out the one I didn't want in. Never thought I'd do that but hey, I did. It should be who you really believe is going to do the most of the things you believe are important, but sadly the whole thing is more of a game
I voted against having a mayor. I think it's an undemocratic attempt to do away with real accountability. I think it's a combination of pure Tory anti-egalitarianism, and Blairite humbug. On that basis ANY mayoral election fails for me. But if we have to have this monstrosity, my view is that any vote for a greedy Tory keen to stuff the city more full of rich people who care not a jot for the real people who do the work, and who want push them out to the very edges of Crossrail, is a disaster in the making. Vote Zac if you want more offices and more rich people's pads.
No doubt if we get Goldsmith he'll start renaming things to suit his royalist sycophantic needs, much like Boris did with the Crossrail to Elizabeth Line debacle.
I'm disappointed with the pedestrianise Oxford Street bandwagon that all four main candidates have leapt on (thanks Wolmar). To be utterly frank it'll result in gridlock. What Oxford Street needs is less gormless shoppers which clog up the place for everyone.

Other than that little aside, which nearly put me off voting at all, you're spot on DG.
The potential folly of the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street is comprehensively discussed here:

(so let's not over-discuss it today, thanks)
Why shouldn't Sian Berry's single London fare zone be possible. They have that (more or less) in Paris - and considerably cheaper than London. €70 per month for an all zone pass that can take you out to the countryside.
@Chris 9:38 Because thousands of people from across the Home Counties will drive to the end of each Underground line, clog the car parks, and fill the trains before they've even started to pick up people from the inner stations. The Underground is already overcrowded (see DG's figures a couple of days ago about the growth in users). A low monthly fare will make it unsustainable, and benefit non-Londoners to the detriment of Londoners.
Well DG you're pretty much summed up my thoughts. I have looked at the various manifestos and watched too many interviews with the candidates. I find the whole thing utterly uninspiring. Mr G doesn't look as if he wants the job and that he's been bullied into being the Tory candidate. I find Mr K difficult to trust despite all the blandishments. I think he wants to be Mayor for his own sense of achievement rather than what he can do for London. As someone who spends too much time looking at TfL's budget numbers I think his fare freeze idea is unhinged in the context of zero revenue grant and massive pressure to expand services. He is, of course, completely silent about what he will do with the Council Tax precepts. Mrs P and Ms B are fine as far as they go but I'm not persuaded on some of their policies for reasons others have cited.

I know how I'll vote for the Assembly constituency and party and that's partly tactical but as for Mayor? Ugh. I am tempted not to put a cross for any of them. I find that an appalling prospect given I think it is very important to vote so "must do better next time" is the message I have for the political parties.
@ Chris 0938 - I'd suggest that Paris can do what it has done because it has a far more generous funding regime and also a more diverse spread of revenue. Subsidy is seen as something "good", employers fund season tickets for employees via a local tax, there are different layers of state / regional / city funding for investment. It also has a 30 year investment plan which is funded. That means there is a steady flow on ongoing improvements to buses, trams, Metro, RER and suburban rail. None of this "one big scheme at a time" nonsense that London has. Paris has several happening at once.

More than anything I think there is a consensus that public transport is a "good thing". We are still not there yet in London because of the way the City is structured with a car dependent outer region. "Bromley Council syndrome" still lives on I'm afraid and "Gorgeous George" at the Treasury has taken well over £1bn out of TfL's revenue grant over the years with Boris's connivance.
I definitely know who I'm NOT voting for.
I'm pretty much settled on my first choice vote, but still have no idea what to do with my second: Sadiq, because he's probably not as bad as Zac; or nobody at all.

And then there's whether I use my list vote for a party I'd quite like to be represented, or the Lib Dems to help make sure that Caroline Pidgeon stays in the assembly.

It's complicated, this.
"Why shouldn't Sian Berry's single London fare zone be possible."

Because if it's low enough not to make short journeys prohibitively expensive, it will bankrupt TfL.
@chris: the Greens single-fare doesn't make sense because the area covered by the Paris fare is much smaller - equivalent to Zone 3 of the London system. And because of the things the others said.

Vote Caroline!
The problem I have with Caroline is largely her half price fare plan for journeys that start by 0730.

Which means you might get into town by 0800.

You know what opens at 0800? The trading floors.

So Caroline Pidgeon is advocating a plan that will deliver half price fares to bankers.

"Stardust and soul", eh? Two qualities I would instantly distrust in any politician - they smack too much of the self-regarding and image-obsessed.

And pace the direct democracy fan above, no, the electorate as a whole can't decide on all these issues. There's that little thing called balancing out the competing interests, negotiation and compromise to be taken care of first. Not to mention that whole part of the Mayor's remit that consists of knocking heads together among all the different agencies and institutions that the Mayor doesn't actually manage directly, but which need to be working together to keep the place aiming in the right direction.
Whilst I work in London, I don't live there, so I get no voice in this discussion.

Nevertheless, I don't believe any of them can truly detail how their grand ideas are going to be funded, which means either they won't happen or London will plunge into recession to pay for them.
I think Sadiq will win because his score on the Scrabble tiles beats Zac's.

As good a reason as any, they are all carp.
None of the above.

I spend most of my waking hours in London, but, like Jimbo, I don't live here, so I don't get a vote.

But if I did, I'd vote for someone disinclined to support vanity projects, like the Dangleway and the Garden Bridge.
Livingston suspended - are Labour about to blow a gasket?
It would be helpful if in a future post DG expanded his brief comment on the intricacies of the Supplementary Voting system. I can't vote in London (so perhaps I'm less clued up on it than others) but there may well be subtleties that aren't obvious until they have been pointed out.

• Does it do away with the need to vote tactically, or do you just have to use different tactics?

• Are the tactics always the same regardless of whether you support a major or minor party?

• Would the principles be different if the main contenders weren't neck and neck?

• Should you always use both votes?
Oh - it's a fascinating topic Gerry! (to me). I think the Supplementary Voting system is flawed for the same reason that the French election of 2002 didn't really go to plan (first round: Chirac - 19.9%, Le Pen - 16.9%, Jospin—16.2 %, others - 47%).

So Chirac and Le Pen went through to the second round of voting the next week, even though a lot of people voting for 'others' would probably have voted Jospin had they known Le Pen was going to do so well, but wanted to use the first round as a protest.

The London Mayor voting system is exactly the same as the French Presidential one, except you cast both your first and second round votes at the same time, rather than with a week's interval.
Gerry: So with supplementary voting, you have a first choice and a second choice. If no-one gets an absolute majority (> 50%) of the first choices, then the top two candidates by number of votes continue through to the second round.

If the person you voted for as first choice is knocked out as a result of this, your second choice will then come into play. If your vote is for one of the two remaining candidates, then your vote is added to their pile. If not, then it is discarded.

Therefore, on the assumption that most people consider the elections to be a straight fight between Conservative and Labour, one could anticipate that Sadiq and Zac will get though to the second round. Therefore your first vote can be a "real" vote (for the candidate you actually want to win) and your second vote can be a "backup" vote for the one that is actually likely to win.

So, for example, I will probably vote for Sian as my first choice, and Sadiq as my backup choice. I don't really want Sadiq to win because I'm not that keen on him, but he's better than Zac, and I am voting tactically with my second vote to try and ensure that the least worst person ends up being mayor.

If you support a major party wholeheartedly, then no, there may not be much point using both votes. Whether you should or not depends on how much you believe in voting because it is your constitutional duty, and that you might as well stand up and be counted even if you're not in the majority.

Would the principles be the same if the main contenders weren't neck and neck - no. For example, there looks to be a lot more credible choice in the centrist/left arena in this election than the right. So if Zac was polling close to 50%, you would want to vote for Sadiq as the most likely to beat Zac. Otherwise you would risk splitting the left leaning vote, meaning that Zac would definitely go through. If Sadiq was close to 50%, it just reinforces the "idealist first vote, realist second vote" thing more.

If UKIP and friends weren't polling at about 1%, then the opposite would occur, but generally in the UK it seems we split more on the left than the right.

I hope that is vaguely clear...
Maybe DG can be a better mayor than anyone of those?
To an extent, the preferential vote system does away with the need to vote tactically with your first preference vote. You can vote with your heart for your first preference, and then choose which of the two top candidates you prefer with your second preference vote. What happens is that if no candidate gets 50% +1 of the first preference votes, then the last place candidate is eliminated, and those who voted for them have their second preference votes redistributed to the remaining candidates. This process continues until a candidate has the 50% +1 figure.

I'm a member of the Green Party, so as you can imagine, I'm backing Sian all the way. There are issues where I disagree with the official policy position of the party, but the beauty of the Greens is that as long as you can honestly agree with the basic principles of the party, then disagreement over detail is positively encouraged to stimulate debate and further refine and hone policy in an honest, intellectually rigorous and above all democratic way. Every member has an equal say and input into policy- it's not cooked up by some secret cabal, or even by an arms length policy committee. Sian would be a mayor who would actually listen to viewpoints, weigh consequences and, importantly, think long term about the future welfare of London. Don't believe all those who say that only the top two parties can ever win the mayoralty- remember that we have already elected an independent mayor (divisive as Ken turned out to be).

My second preference vote will go to Mr Khan. I don't like him particularly- to me (like so many other Labour politicians) he seems to lack intellectual rigour and actual passion for making the city, the country and the world a better place. It's like he's auditioning for the job of most competent manager. But at least he's not bloody Zac....
Hey, PC, what's up with Bromley!?
I'd rather be here than, say, Greenwich or Lewisham :)
Yes, you're right, James G, but the system you've described (Alternative Vote) isn't the one that they will use to elect the London Mayor (which is Supplementary Vote). Instead all but the top two candidates are eliminated in the first round of counting, so there only ever be two rounds.

While no voting system is perfect, I think Alternative Vote would have been a much better method for choosing the Mayor (unless the intention is to 'shut out' all but the two major parties, which is effectively what has happened)
If I had a vote, it would be for Caroline , she was a damm good table partner in cookery at school all those years ago; taught me all about the tea-spoon fairy who leaves the tea-spoons at the bottom of the washing up bowl under the remains of the soap bubbles...

Seriously though, I was at school with her for 10 years, always an intelligent person, always the type to take on organisational responsibility. I'm pleased that she has been so successful, and wish her all the best (as much as a 3rd-party candidate can have anyway!)!
Not that I would vote for him either but given past posts it is obvious you don't vote Conservative 😀

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