Keen-eyed readers may have spotted that there's a few elections coming up this week. Our guide yesterday covered the local council and European elections which will take place on Thursday 22 May along with how to vote. Today we'll take a look at the London Mayoral elections happening on the same day.
Before you get too excited about the prospect of voting Boris Johnson out, it's not that Mayoral election. Residents of Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Lewisham will be able to choose their own Mayor rather than the usual system which is where the leader of the party with the most councillors heads up the borough council.
But what does a directly elected Mayor do? It's actually pretty similar to what Boris Johnson does as Mayor of London. The directly elected Mayors are the political leaders of the council and have responsibility for council policy and services. They appoint a cabinet of up to 10 councillors which can be made up of different political parties (like the London Assembly). The councillors also hold the Mayor to account and take part in deciding the budget and annual plans.
It's a supplementary voting system, which means people can vote for two candidates in order of preference. The electoral authorities add up the first preference votes, and if a candidate gets more than 50%, they win. If there isn't a candidate with enough first preference votes, all but the top two are eliminated and the votes for everyone else are redistributed by their second preference. Any second preference votes for the two remaining candidates are then added to their first preference votes and the candidate with the most votes wins.
The current incumbents along with Thursday's candidates are here (see links for individual bios where available). If you're a resident in one of these four boroughs, don't forget to cast your vote on Thursday as well as voting in the council and European elections.
Tower Hamlets — Lutfur Rahman (Independent)
John Biggs (Labour), Reetendra Banerji (Liberal), Reza Choudhury (Independent), Hafiz Kadir (Independent), Mohammed Khan (Independent), Nicholas McQueen (UKIP), Hugo Pierre (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition), Lutfur Rahman (Independent), Chris Smith (Green), Christopher Wilford (Conservative).
If you want a local view on the candidates for Tower Hamlets, check out Trial by Jeory.
Lewisham — Steve Bullock (Labour)
Duwayne Brooks (Liberal), Steve Bullock (Labour), Christopher Flood (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition), John Hamilton (Lewisham People Before Profit), Mike Keogh (Green), Peter Lello (UKIP), Simon Nundy (Conservative).
Newham — Robin Wales (Labour)
Lois Austin (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition), Alex Latim (Christian Peoples Alliance), Jane Lithgow (Green), Kamran Malik (Communities United Party), David Mears (UKIP), Stefan Mrozinksi (Conservative), David Thorpe (Liberal), Robin Wales (Labour).
Some further reading from Newham local blogger forestgate.net.
Hackney — Jules Pipe (Labour)
Photo by Simon Kimber in the Londonist Flickr pool.