Conservatives to announce London mayoral candidate
1 October 2015, Blog
Voting has now closed for the Conservative candidate for London Mayor, and the highly anticipated result is expected to be announced on Friday morning (Look out for JBP’s briefing tomorrow on the selected candidate).
The majority of commentators have placed Zac Goldsmith as frontrunner for the position; the MP for Richmond has a long standing record in London as passionate campaigner on environmental issues, and is perceived to be the only candidate who can keep the Capital blue.
Arguably, however the result will not be quite this straightforward. Syed Kamall received a boost to his campaign last week, securing the endorsement of right-wing think tank, Parliament Street. At a recent Conservative mayoral hustings, observers also noted a shaky performance from Goldsmith, in contrast to a polished and intelligent display from Kamall.
While Zac has gathered large swathes of public support, party members are unconvinced that he is the ‘proper Tory’ candidate in this election. He has a well-known reputation for frequently voting against his own party’s policies. Kamall, in contrast, is seen to be a party faithful; he is a strong advocate for European reform, free trade and open markets. He also has a remarkable ability to reach out to people across class and ethnic divides, and has a record for campaigning right across London. It is left to be seen whether this level of support will be enough for Kamall to triumph over the bookies favourite.