So now we know. Labour’s Sadiq Khan has officially be joined by Zac Goldsmith as the heavy hitters in next year’s mayoral election.
The Conservative was selected to the be the Conservative candidate following an online primary which gave him Corbynite levels of approval – 70%. His closest rival was Syed Kamall with 16%. The number of votes was low at 9,227
The son of a bus driver versus the son of an industrialist billionaire provides a neat symmetry with the national contest where Labour has returned to its working class roots to tackle the perceived toffs in David Cameron’s cabinet. Mr Goldsmith was made second favourite by bookmaker William Hill (see below).
Zac Goldsmith said: “In the last seven years London has come a long way. Under Boris, London now leads the world in business, tech, media, art and culture – benefitting from unprecedented investment. It is why so many people want to live, work and do business here, and it is also putting increasing pressures on our city.
“We have seen record investment in our transport network, but we will need to continue that investment just to avoid grinding to a halt – while at the same time continuing to bear down on the cost of travel so that it delivers value for money for Londoners.
“Our living environment is facing increasing pressure, and we will need to protect, enhance and improve access to our green spaces, as well as radically improving the quality of the air that we breath.
“But the biggest challenge of all is the housing crisis. Londoners are being priced out of their city and we will need a step change in the number of homes built, and the manner in which they are built.”
Mr Goldsmith has been an ardent environmental campaigner, against Heathrow expansion and, crucially for east London, willing to continue the fight against London City Airport’s plans to expand. LCY is currently preparing an appeal against Boris Johnson’s refusal of the scheme.
Mayor of London Mr Johnson said: “I’m delighted for Zac – he’s principled, hard-working, and dedicated, he’s fizzing with ideas, and he’s passionate about London and its people.
“In May next year this City needs its new mayor to be a fighter, someone who’s not afraid to knock some plaster off the political ceiling in pursuit of the best possible deal for London. Zac Goldsmith is that fighter. He’s fearless. He will make a brilliant mayor.”
8/11 Sadiq Khan (Labour)
11/10 Zac Goldsmith (Conservative)
33/1 George Galloway (Ind)
50/1 Caroline Pidgeon (LD)
100/1 Peter Whittle (Ukip)
125/1 Sian Berry (Greens)
Source: William Hill