Labour MP Tessa Jowell, the politician credited with conceiving and winning London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics, is the 2/1 frontrunner to become the British capital’s next Mayor when Boris Johnson takes another step towards world domination by stepping down in 2016.
There’s 11 months to go before the polls open though, and plenty of credible candidates in the race. Here are three that will have plenty to say before next May:
Some firms see Khan as favourite to take over City Hall, with one pricing him as low as 13/8, but Ladbrokes have the former Transport Secretary at an industry-best behind fellow Labour challenger Jowell.
The biggest issue likely to confront the 44-year-old is his close association with Ed Miliband, after Khan ran the last Labour head’s successful leadership campaign in 2010, and served as Shadow Justice Secretary under him.
On the plus side, Khan has been involved in local Labour politics since 1994, representing Tooting as a councillor and then MP from 2005 onwards, so his south-London roots go deep.
Jowell is 5/4 favourite to secure the Labour nomination, with Khan at 9/4, Tottenham MP David Lammy 9/2, and 7/1 bar.
The former editor of The Ecologist magazine will be hoping green issues are firmly on the minds of voters in the capital, after largely basing his political career so far on such matters.
Goldsmith has even pledged to resign from his Richmond Park seat and run as an independent if the Conservatives drop their opposition to a third runway at Heathrow.
With the aviation commission set to recommend action regarding airport capacity over the next few months, Goldsmith’s allegiance to his party could be tested, but Ken Livingstone showed in 2000 that high-profile independents can still become Mayor.
That being said, it’s probably best to swerve Ladbrokes’ 11/4 about the 40-year-old winning the Tory nomination.
Bailey was one of the highest-profile failures in the 2010 General Election, losing out to Labour’s Andy Slaughter in Hammersmith by over 3,000 votes, after many expected him to take the seat.
The north Londoner then took a job as Special Advisor on Youth and Crime at Number 10 Downing Street, which he held for almost three years before being pushed out by the Prime Minister’s ‘Etonian clique’, according to friends who commented in the media at the time.
The 44-year-old, who is working-class from Afro-Caribbean origins, is just the kind of counter-intuitive Tory who could play well in the capital, and has links to grass-roots voters having worked for charities against drug abuse, crime, educational underachievement, etc, in the past.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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