Political

Three names now in the public running to be Lib Dem Mayor of London candidate

Three people are now publicly in the running to be the next Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London in the elections due in May 2020.

The three who have been named as applying for the role now have to go through the party’s application process. The final list published for party members in London to vote on may therefore both not include all three and may also include others not yet publicly named.

The three are:

  • Siobhan Benita, who ran as an independent candidate in 2012, nearly beating the Liberal Democrat candidate, and has since joined the Liberal Democrats.
  • Lucy Salek, the Lewisham East Parliamentary by-election candidate.
  • Dinesh Dahmija, a successful Asian businessman who sits on the Federal Board and featured in the Evening Standard today.

As I wrote before about the role:

Doing the role well is particularly tough as the [Mayor of London] contest – which has never yet looked winnable for the party – happens alongside the elections for the London Assembly – where even in the party’s worst year, one GLA member (Caroline Pidgeon) was still elected.

Being a Mayor candidate with a huge focus on you when the main aim is helping get others elected is a tough balance to get right. It’s also why many in the party in the past have liked the idea of a Mayor candidate who is also on the party’s list for the London Assembly.

Whether or not that later combo happens, it’ll be a good point for party members to repeatedly quiz all would-be Mayor candidates about: ‘how will you help us get more list members elected to the London Assembly?’ followed up by, ‘all the previous Mayor candidates have said nice things about this too; how are you going to be the most successful we’ve ever had at doing this?’.

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3 responses to “Three names now in the public running to be Lib Dem Mayor of London candidate”

  1. There is a possible strategy for the Lib Dems. Firstly to position the Mayoral election as a London-wide referendum on Remain – or by then Rejoin. And try and get within striking distance of the Tories – the most recent Westminster voting intention in London had us on 14% to the Tories’ 26% – with some indication that we have moved forward since then.

    To use that to get into second or near-second place. And then have bold policies on transport, the environment and housing in particular to shout about. Off the cuff, a £3 cap per day on bus fares and a network of hundreds of drinking water fountains to reduce plastic bottle use.

    We have the advantage that if we get into second place, we get more second votes than the other parties.

    We have though never worked out how to campaign effectively on a London-wide basis. It is not easy and the bigger the size of the constituency – from wards, to parliamentary seats upwards the more difficult we find it. And we have done worse in Mayoral elections than in local and parliamentary elections in the capital.

    I take the point about the GLA but a bold noisy Mayoral campaign MIGHT get the top of the ticket pulling up GLA candidates.

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