Zac Goldsmith is almost certainly going to be announced later this week as the Conservative candidate for the 2016 London Mayoral Election, but how will he stack up against Labour’s Sadik Khan?
Goldsmith, current MP for Richmond and North Kingston, certainly fits the Tory ethos in many ways despite questioning his party leadership over Heathrow expansion plans.
But with the polls opening in just over seven months to decide who London’s third mayor will be, Goldsmith has work to do if he is to succeed next May, with Ladbrokes placing him 5/4 second favourite behind Khan at 8/11.
Again, it is strongly expected to be a two-party contest.
Having gone through two terms under a Conservative Mayor in Boris Johnson, Khan is focusing on making next May’s election into a referendum on London’s housing crisis.
It is a strategy which is expected to find strong support in the coming months from right across the City as both rent and house prices continue to outstrip inflation and wage rises by a significant margin.
Khan is so passionate about tackling the issue that on the final day of this week’s Labour party conference in Brighton, he has asked the Conservative candidate – regardless of who is selected for next year’s election – to assist him in doing so, starting with fighting the government’s impending housing bill.
How Goldsmith deals with that remains to be seen. He is not afraid to speak up against his party but if Khan takes a stranglehold on the subject, it could be a decisive move from the Tooting MP with the issue showing little sign of being resolved any time soon.
It’s a clever tactical ploy from Khan, forcing Goldsmith to either go against a hotly-felt topic among hundreds of thousands if not millions of Londoners right now, or agree and work with Khan but always be playing second fiddle on the debate.
Khan has set his stall, now he waits for his opponent to make himself known.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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