Yesterday London residents went to the polls to vote for their next Mayor. (NOTE: this role not to be confused with the Lord Mayor of the City of London).
The Mayor of London - a role that has existed since 2000 - makes major decisions for planning and budgeting of governmental functions - transport, protection, culture and sport, etc. - across Greater London. He works with an elected Assembly, whose job it is to scrutinise his decisions, and the Greater London Authority who then implement the policies.
This year's 3 main contenders are Ken Livingstone, standing for the Labour Party, Boris Johnson as Tory candidate and Brian Paddick for the Liberal Democrats. Livingstone has been mayor for 8 years, so his record and policies are well known to all. Paddick was headed up the Metropolitan police in Lambeth, and was a cop for many years before entering the political arena. Johnson is best known for his appearances as guest-presenter on Have I Got News For You. I know where my vote lies...
At the same time as the yesterday's mayoral election, the UK saw many local council elections throughout England and Wales. Preliminary results from these are showing huge shifts of power to the Tory party, with many boroughs abandoning Labour governance all together. Is this a sign of what is to come in the London results? Or will London prove to be distinct from the rest of the country and want to hold forth with the "devil you know"?
Blogs from the three sides:
The Liberati Blog
The Daily Telegraph Blog