Top 7 favourites to win the 2020 London Mayoral contest: can Khan win?

Will Sadiq Khan secure a second term in 2020? Or will a Tory candidate come through?

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?

For the first time in decades, the Tories became a real political force in Scotland.

European Union Referendum (2016)

Following the referendum vote in which the UK voted to leave the EU (while Scotland voted to leave), Nicola Sturgeon sought to get a good deal for Scotland with the EU, but eventually called for a new independence referendum to take place in the coming years.

Scottish Council Elections (2017)

One year later, the narrative of a strengthening Conservative party and a slightly weakened SNP continued. The Tories gained 164 seats across Scotland while the SNP made a handful of losses.

United Kingdom General Election (2017)

Then in April, a month before the council elections Theresa May called a snap general election in a move that surprised the whole country.

In an embarrassing move, the prime minister lost her majority, but the results in Scotland were perhaps one of the most interesting of the night. The Tories were on track to gain seats north of the border, but the extent of their wins (twelve new seats) exceeded expectations. On top of that, Labour did surprisingly well, going from one seat to seven, suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn’s radical alternative message was having an impact north of the border.

The SNP remained Scotland’s dominant party, winning more than half the seats and the most votes, but the change in support from the 2015 election was staggering. The party ended up with less than 40% of the vote.

On top of this, the party stepped back on its proposals for a new independence referendum, a sign that the party had been weakened by the vote.

Have we passed peak SNP?

At this stage, it looks like the party have performed the best they ever will, but there are still three years until the next Holyrood electionproviding plenty of time for the party to make progress. The honest answer is that politics is unpredictable and that we should not make any major assumptions about the future as party fortunes ebb and flow over time, but if current trends continue then the story of the 2021 election could be resurrection of Labour. The question then is: how far can Scottish Labour go? And would they work with the SNP to keep out the Conservatives?

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on Oddschecker, and are accurate as of 18th September.

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