London Elections

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Who do we elect?

In London elections, we vote for both the Mayor of London and for the 25 members of the London Assembly, whose job is to oversee and scrutinise how the Mayor runs London. Together, the Mayor and Assembly make up the Greater London Authority (GLA).

What does the GLA do?

The GLA is responsible for a number of high-profile services and government bodies in London. These include Transport for London, which runs the Tube, Overground, buses and other public transport as well as being responsible for London's major roads. The GLA is also responsible for London's Police and Fire services and has powers over environental, planning, housing and public health policy.

While the Mayor is responsible for most decision-making and the running of London, the Assembly is responsible for scrutinising decisions, holding the mayor and the GLA departments to account and producing reports of investigations into important issues, which can be used to develop London-wide policy.

The Mayor and Assembly Members work full time and are paid a full time wage. The Mayor's salary is £146,804 per year, while an Assembly Member earns £56,270.

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Where do they represent?

There are two types of Assembly Members. 14 members represent individual constituencies, like MPs do. The other 11 list or "top up" Assembly Members represent the whole of London. 

Hackney is part of the North East constituency along with Islington and Waltham Forest boroughs.

The Mayor is elected by and represents all Londoners.

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When is the election?

London elections take place every 4 years, two years apart from London council elections.

The last elections were in 2016 and the next is due on May 7th 2020.

If the Mayor or a constituency Assembly Member resigns or dies during their term, there is a by-election to fill that single seat until the next scheduled election. If an Assembly Member elected from the "top up" list dies or resigns, the next person on their party's list is automatically elected to fill the seat.

Who can vote?

UK, European Union and Commonwealth citizens aged 18 or over and resident in London can vote in local elections. You can register to vote online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Citizens of the 53 countries which are members of the Commonwealth can vote in any UK election. If you are not sure which countries are Commonwealth members, you can check here.

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How do we vote for Mayor?

The ballot paper for the Mayoral election asks for a first and second preference vote.

If no candidate receives over 50% of the vote on first preferences, all candidates except the top two are knocked out and their votes are given to the candidate marked as second preference - as long as that candidate is one of the remaining two. The candidate with the most votes after this redistribution is elected Mayor.

How do we vote for the Assembly?

Voters receive two different Assembly ballot papers. One paper is for the constituency Assembly Member. Voters mark one X next to the candidate of their choice. The candidate with the most votes becomes the constituency AM.

The second ballot is for the party lists. The voter again marks one X, this time for the party they want to support for the London top-up members.

You can vote for the same party on both Assembly ballots, or you can vote for a local candidate from one party and support a different party on the list. Many people use their list vote to support a smaller party they would like to see elected but don't think can win the constituency seat.

After all the constituency members have been elected, the 11 top-up seats are assigned so that the overall balance of the Assembly closely matches the share of votes each party got across London.

A party that got 20% of the vote would be entitled to 5 out of the 25 seats. If that party has already won 4 constituency seats, it will be awarded 1 extra seat to make it up to 5. If the party has not won any constituencies, it will be given 5 top-up seats.

This is a form of Proportional Representation.

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Your ballot papers for the 2020 election will probably look a bit like this - assuming you want to vote for the Lib Dem ticket of Siobhan Benita for Mayor, Ben Mathis for North East London and as many Lib Dem members as possible from the London top-up list.

Of course, who you give your second Mayoral vote is entirely up to you!