With the London Mayoral Election 2021 just around the corner, the question is can anybody defeat Sadiq Khan. The Labour candidate and incumbent Mayor of London has a commanding position in both the polls and the betting odds, and you have to say it will be a real surprise if Khan is not the victor following the election on May 6th.
That has not stopped a whole plethora of candidates from signing up to try and get the better of Khan, with the largest number of candidates in history taking part this year. Of them all, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey looks set to be Khan’s closest challenger, so let’s take a look at the pair’s views on key issues ahead of the election.
One of Khan’s main aims is to boost the economy in London following the coronavirus pandemic. This includes investing heavily in the West End to help attract tourism once again, and helping those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic to find work. He is also focusing on sport as a way to kickstart the economy, with the possibility of Indian Premier League cricket matches coming to the capital.
In terms of transport, which is a huge factor in London, Khan is continuing his goal of making the city more environmentally friendly, encouraging individuals to walk, cycle or use public transport, while roads are used by emergency services, delivery vehicles, and those who really need them.
Khan is also promoting the introduction of thousands more police officers, while increasing the number of council homes available in London. There is nothing too outlandish in Khan’s plans, but given that he is the strong favourite to win the election, he doesn’t need to take too many risks.
One of Shaun Bailey’s key targets is crime, and he is aiming to take a hard-line stance should he get elected into City Hall. The 49-year-old wants to hire 8,000 more police officers and reopen a whole host of police stations that have been closed over the years. Bailey also wants to introduce funding for former prisoners to get work qualifications, while investing in youth centres and youth staff across London’s boroughs.
Bailey’s transport plans include seeking corporate sponsorships for many London Underground stations, and using this money to start transport-based projects, such as the improvement of 4G coverage throughout the network. Like Khan, he wants to help make London a greener space in terms of vehicles, and will offer interest-free loans to black cab drivers to help them purchase electric or low-emission vehicles.
The housing crisis is still gripping London, with millions priced out of home-buying due to the exorbitant cost of property in the capital. Bailey is planning to build 100,000 homes and introduce a shared ownership model, so that younger people can get on the property ladder without having to break the bank.
With Khan sitting as such a heavy favourite ahead of the election, Bailey has his work cut out to rally enough support to defeat the Labour candidate. His plans to tackle crime will resonate with a lot of Londoners, but will it be enough to overcome the odds?