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Less than a month to go until the London mayoral election
On 5 May 2016, Londoners will be voting to elect their new Mayor. He or she will be filling Boris Johnson’s shoes and what shoes. You may not be aware but if you are not British but are a London resident and a citizen of one of the EU countries or from a Commonwealth country, you have the right to vote in this election. Do not forget however to register and vote!
Any British, Commonwealth and European Union citizen living in London can vote in the Mayoral election. The only other condition is to be aged 18 or over. But note that you cannot vote if you have not registered. You still have until 16 April to register online or by post. To do it from your computer, go to the government’s website and give your National Insurance Number and your address in London.
How do you vote in the UK?
Unlike French citizens, British voters do not take a piece of paper with the name of the party to then put it in an envelope. In the UK, voters take a ballot paper and go into a polling booth, tick their first and second choice (the second one is not compulsory) they then put it in the ballot box. You should also know that it is not mandatory to take your electoral card with you to the polling station. So don’t worry, if you lose it, you will still be able to vote.
It is also possible to vote by post, if you cannot go to the polling station. To do so, you need to send your application to the local electoral registration office. The ballot papers will be sent to you by post. You should then complete and return them, ensuring they arrive no later than 10:00am on 5 May.
Who are the candidates?
The final list was released on 31 March. Here are the 12 candidates to succeed Boris Johnson as Mayor of London:
Zac Goldsmith: Conservative Party. MP for Richmond. Zac Goldsmith has committed to give Transport for London funding to upgrade the Tube and to build 50,000 new homes in the capital by 2020. He claims to be fighting for a “safer, greener, happier, more prosperous and united city.” He has pledged to protect the green belt and to put more police officers in London at night.
Sadiq Khan: Labour Party. MP for Tooting. Sadiq Khan wants to freeze Transport for London fares until 2020 and plans to build 80,000 homes a year, stating that 50% of them will be built on public land and affordable. He has made a point of supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and start-ups which help create jobs.
Sian Berry: Green Party. Camden Borough Councillor for Highgate ward. Sian Berry’s main argument is to make “a greener London” by closing City Airport and prohibiting polluting vehicles on London roads, switching buses and taxis to electric models. She also proposes “flat fares by 2025 and change between buses, tubes and trains at no extra cost.” Concerning jobs, Sian Berry wants to support small businesses and the local economy by creating a “Bank for London”.
Caroline Pidgeon: Liberal Democrat Party. MBE and leader of her party in the London Assembly. Caroline Pidgeon said she would ged rid of the Garden Bridge project and set half-price fares for transport journeys before 7:30am.
Peter Whittle: UK Independence Party (UKIP). Politician, author and journalist. The main point of Peter Whittle’s campaign is to reduce the number of immigrants coming to London. He also said he wants to let London citizens vote in a referendum on whether or not they accept the new development of their own borough.
David Furness: British National Party (BNP). David Furness’s wish is to freeze immigration and to campaign for the UK leaving the EU.
Ankit Love: One Love Party. Ankit Love is a film producer who created the satirical One Love Party to raise awareness about air pollution.
Sophie Walker: Women’s Equality Party. Previously a journalist with Reuters, she now runs her own blog. Sophie Walker wants "to make equality and diversity the fuel that drives our nation’s capital" by giving women the same opportunities to and reducing the cost of childcare.
George Galloway: Respect (George Galloway). MP for his party from 2012 until 2015. George Galloway’s campaign theme is “a London for all”. He fights against racism and wants a secure city for all citizens.
Paul Golding: Britain First - Putting British people first. Paul Golding wants to reform in migration policy and “make London British again”.
Lee Harris: Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol. Lee Harris, who owns a shop in Portobello road, proposes to reform drug policies and legalise and regulate drugs in London. He also wants to allow medicinal access to cannabis.
Prince Zylinski: Independent. Prince Zylinski, aristocrat and businessman, says on his website he wants to cut transport fares by half, build a million homes and plant a million trees.
Here is a video explaining the role of the Mayor of London just in case you wondered.
More informations on londonelects.org.uk
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