After eight years of Tory-rule, the London mayoralty was won back by Labour’s Sadiq Khan in May 2016. Khan beat the Conservatives’ Zac Goldsmith by a margin of 57% - 43% once all other candidates were eliminated from the contest.
Who are the favourites to win in three years’ time?
7th – James Cleverly
Cleverly was a London Assembly Member between 2008 and 2016, but was elected to parliament first in 2015 and then again in June. He also briefly served as the London Assembly's Tory party leader. Cleverly is certainly an option for London Conservatives wishing to take back the capital, but as he just left the Assembly to enter parliament, he might not be willing to return so soon. According to Oddschecker, he is the seventh favourite to win in 2020 with Ladbrokes offering odds of 50/1 for a Cleverly win. It is worth pointing out that he has the same odds as Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, the Green’s Sian Berry, Shaun Bailey and Zac Goldsmith.
6th – Boris Johnson
It’s incredibly difficult to imagine Boris Johnson leaving parliament to return to his old job as mayor of London, but a cabinet falling out, followed by a failed Tory leadership bid could force Johnson to return to an electoral arena where he was a winner. It seems unlikely, but stranger things have happened in British politics. Ladbrokes offer odds of 50/1 for Johnson to win in 2020.
5th – Justine Greening
This prominent London politician has served in a variety of governmental roles since the Tories came to power in 2010. She now serves as the country's Education Secretary, a position she has held since Theresa May came to power last July. Ladbrokes offer odds of 33/1 for Greening to win in 2020.
4th – Eddie Izzard
This comedian has been heavily involved in politics over the last few years. He is a prominent Labour supporter and was a strong supporter of keeping Britain inside the EU. A 2013 Guardian article discussed the possibility of Izzard becoming Mayor of London while a PinkNews article from last week reported that Izzard could be preparing to enter parliament in the next few years. Like with Greening, Ladbrokes offer odds of 33/1 for Izzard to become London’s next mayor.
3rd – David Lammy
Tottenham MP Lammy holds one of the safest seats in the country. He first became an MP back in 2000, and served as a minister in the New Labour government. He is vocal champion of the EU, and ran to be Labour’s mayoral candidate in 2016, but lost out to Khan. This suggests he is certainly interested in the job, hence his shorter odds of 25/1.
2nd – Ed Vaizey
Vaizey is the favourite Conservative to win the 2020 contest, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 20/1 for a Vaizey mayoralty. This London MP and former barrister served as Culture Minister under David Cameron’s leadership during both the coalition and majority government years. Has he got what it takes to win?
1st – Sadiq Khan
Khan is the clear favourite in the contest with Ladbrokes offering very short odds of 2/5 for a second Khan victory. There are likely three reasons for his short odds. Firstly, he is the incumbent mayor and everyone to get elected to the position of Mayor of London so far has gone on to seek and win a second term. Secondly, London is generally a Labour city so Khan’s incumbency combined with this key factor are likely helping his odds. Thirdly, the Conservatives have yet to pick a candidate while Khan is the presumptive Labour candidate meaning that there is no obvious Tory favourite with shorter odds.
Could it be Vaizey versus Khan?
In all likelihood, Khan will stand again. Now that prominent Tory MP Vaizey is without a government position, it is entirely feasible to see his attention to the capital. Then again, the vote is still just shy of three years away so anything could happen.
All odds cited are accessible here on Oddschecker, and are accurate as of 18th September.