London Elections – a voting guide

On May 5, Londoners will vote for who they want to lead their city for the next four years.

This includes Mayor and members of the London Assembly.

Anyone who is over 18 and lives in London can vote provided they are either a) British b) An EU citizen or c) a Commonwealth citizen.

In order to vote, you must register by April 19. this is really easy to do – just visit the registration page here and complete your details. You may already be enrolled from previous elections but if you haven’t yet received a polling card or have recently changed address, it is a good idea to register again.


You should receive a polling card in the post before May 5 advising you of your nearest polling booth and it’s hours of operation.

If you are going to be out of town on May 5, or not able to vote in person for any reason, you can register to vote by post by visiting this website, downloading a postal vote application and sending it so it is received no later than April 19. When returning your postal ballot you must make sure it is returned and received by May 5.

Two elections are taking place on May 5The first is for the Mayor of London. This is a four-year term and there are 12 candidates standing. You can read their mini-manifestos here.

Voting takes place using the supplementary vote system. You can choose a first and second preference on your ballot. Initially, only your first preference will be counted and if no candidate receives a 50% majority on the first round of voting, the top two candidates will move onto the second round where everyone else’s second preferences (as long as they are for one of the top two candidates) will be distributed. The best way to maximise your vote is to choose your favourite candidate on the first ballot and then your preference out of the Labour and Conservative candidates on the second ballot.

The second election is for the London AssemblyThere are 25 members of the London Assembly who serve four years each term. You have two votes in this election.

The first is for your local constituency representative – London has been broken down into 14 zones each with one direct elected member. The second vote is for your preferred party, with these votes proportionately allocated to fill the reaming 11 assembly seats. If you’re planning to vote strategically, it’s worth checking the previous results in your constituency and voting your preference of the top two parties. You should vote for whichever party best matches your priorities in the secondary list election as this is the most likely avenue for third parties to gain representation.

It’s easy to overlook these elections as they don’t receive much coverage in comparison to a national election, but the assembly is responsible for setting London’s strategic direction for the next four years and have a direct impact on public transport, conservation, housing, city planning and dozens of other areas which affect Londoners on a day-to-day basis. It’s your city so make sure you have your voice heard!


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