Greens rule out recommending second-preference candidate for Mayor

The London Federation of Green Parties has announced that it cannot make a positive recommendation for either Sadiq Khan or Zac Goldsmith as an option for green voters‘ second preference in the election for Mayor.[1]

Last month, the Party set out four ‘red lines’ on road building, airport expansion, estate demolition and inequality, against which they have now assessed the Labour and Conservative candidates’ policies and campaigning.

Neither candidate has provided guarantees against taking backward steps on air pollution and congestion by building new roads and expanding airports, and neither has made clear how they will take effective steps to stop the loss of thousands of council homes through estate demolitions.

No Mayor of London has ever won a majority vote on first preferences and in three of the four previous elections London Green Party decided to recommend its supporters back Ken Livingstone – as an Independent in 2000 and as the Labour candidate in 2008 and 2012 – as the best choice for the second preference votes of its supporters. 

In a statement following its meeting last night, the Federation said:

“Greens in London want positive change and a Green Mayor is the best way to deliver that. But Londoners will be able to give two candidates for Mayor their support, and to elect more Greens to the London Assembly.

“The next Mayor could do a lot to tackle air pollution, housing and inequality, but he or she could also make the situation far worse. Unfortunately, neither Zac Goldsmith nor Sadiq Khan have ruled out major road building, which would create more congestion and pollution. Nor have they ruled out airport expansion which will make noise, pollution and climate change worse.

“Despite their promises to act on London disastrous housing market, neither Sadiq Khan nor Zac Goldsmith are offering specific promises to reverse the proposed loss of 7,000 council homes from demolition schemes already in the planning pipeline. These backward steps are unacceptable.”

Sian Berry, Green candidate for Mayor of London said:

“The Greens have grown in strength and experience over 16 years and our policies stand alone as the best ideas for London in this election. We are the only party that will say no to big road building, airport expansion and forced estate demolition.

“I know my supporters will have their own thoughts about who will get their second preference vote. But Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan have both failed to provide the guarantees that they will not make a bad situation worse in London either by increasing pollution with new roads and expanded airports or making the housing crisis even worse with the loss of thousands of council homes in estate demolitions.

I want Londoners to have clean air and a decent, affordable home. The only guarantee of that is a Green Mayor and a strong group of Green representatives on the London Assembly.


1. Motion passed by London Fed, Monday 18 April

“That the London Federation of Green Parties has great reservations about the policy positions on inequality, road building, airport expansion, and estate demolition of both so-called frontrunners for Mayor of London, and does not feel able to make a positive recommendation to Green voters in this election for a candidate who should receive their second preference vote for Mayor.”



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