Zac Goldsmith is in the race to be the Tory candidate for Mayor of London. After announcing his intention to seek the nomination last week, Goldsmith balloted his constituents in Richmond Park for their permission: 79 per cent of those who responded said he should run, while 18 per cent said no. Although the turnout was just under 26 per cent, it’s still a victory for Goldsmith’s brand of direct democracy. In response to his local referendum, Goldsmith said he’d work ‘tirelessly to repay my constituents’ loyalty’:
‘I am hugely grateful to the residents of Richmond Park and North Kingston for taking part in the ballot, and am overwhelmed by the mandate they have given me to run for Mayor.’
Now that he’s officially running, Goldsmith is the favourite to win the mayoral race. According to Ladbrokes, the latest odds are:
- Zac Goldsmith (Con), MP for Richmond and former editor of the Ecologist magazine: 2/1
- Tessa Jowell (Lab), former Olympics minister and shadow minister for London: 5/2
- Sadiq Khan (Lab), MP for Tooting and shadow minister for London: 10/3
- David Lammy (Lab), MP for Tottenham and former Business minister: 12/1
Goldsmith is unsurprisingly also the favourite to win the Tory nomination. The odds for the declared candidates are:
- Zac Goldsmith: 1/8
- Syed Kamall, MEP and Tory leader in Brussels: 6/1
- Stephen Greenhalgh, deputy mayor and reforming Hammersmith council leader: 16/1
- Andrew Boff, Conservative leader on the London Assembly: 25/1
- Ivan Massow, entrepreneur: 25/1
- Sol Campbell, footballer: 33/1
Goldsmith has the Big Mo right now, with Guido reporting that former Enfield North MP Nick de Bois has signed up to chair his campaign, while Lynton Crosby’s firm is advising the campaign. But for the Tory contest to be legitimate, it’s important that there’s a proper contest within the party rather than a Goldsmith coronation.
With Labour’s candidate set to be announced on September 13, the Tories are keen to have their candidate in place by their annual conference. With Duwayne Brooks, a childhood friend of Stephen Lawrence, also announcing today that he will enter the race for the Liberal Democrat nomination, it’s set to be varied and fascinating contest.