London will choose its mayor next year, and according to betting markets there’s only two possible winners.
Odds-on favourite at 3/10 with Paddy Power is incumbent mayor and Labour party candidate Sadiq Khan. Still in with a chance at 7/2 is the representative of the Conservative party, Shaun Bailey. After these candidates for the major parties the odds rapidly lengthen.
Sharing odds of 20/1 are former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and current editor of the London Evening Standard George Osborne, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport Heidi Alexander, and former Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening.
Paddy Power are not offering odds on the Liberal Democrat candidate Siobhan Benita, though the Green Party’s Siân Berry is available at 50/1.
The Conservative Party will be hoping that Bailey will bring in new communities unaccustomed to voting for a party traditionally seen to represent the British establishment. As a former youth-worker Bailey is a new direction for the party, and his tough-on-crime stance should resonate with traditional Tory voters.
Last August Farage announced that he was “considering” a run at mayor as the UKIP candidate. However, he has since left the party and has made no indication that he still intends to stand as a candidate. It is likely that it would not matter which party he was associated with; no figure is more closely linked to Brexit, and in the referendum vote London was one of the most pro-remain areas of the country.